Conversation with Dong Gong, Vector Architects


Vector architect’s invited project at Baitasi, in construction. Meeting Dong Gong at his office in Chaoyang, we talked about his micro-regeneration courtyard in Baitasi and also the way the entire project is run. The method of redevelopment is called ‘Willingly Vacate’ (腾退) which means that owners of the properties come forward to the local authorities. The two parties will then sign papers for the owner to vacate their properties for a sum of money agreed between them. This method works in this hutong area because 1) whoever is still living in the area means that they are poor and could not afford to move out, including the owners; 2) stricter restrictions on construction mean that owners cannot build to create highrise rental apartments 3) therefore it makes more economic sense to give up their property for a good amount of compensation.

This is a similar story with the converted mini-library from a couple of blogs back. That property was able to be converted into a library because the owner, an old lady, passed away and her having no heir meant that the property went to the state automatically. Because of this reason, the property could be used for other purposes.

Designs of the courtyard. The design explores how public and private spaces could overlap in a combination between residential and commercial programmes in a courtyard house. (