FESCH Convert a Dilapidated Hutong to a Contemporary Home in Beijing

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This Beijing hutong has been revamped by the architecture firm FESCH Beijing. The works were carried out on the behalf of a couple (and their two cats).



The property, like many hutongs, was in a state of disrepair prior to its renovation. Thanks to FESCH’s intervention, the couple now have a modern house to call home.



The project dates back to 2016 and was dubbed “Renovation in Zayuan”. Originally, the hutong was subdivided into a number of much smaller abodes in order to accommodate several families.


In an only 19m2 space, the architect has dealt with… ensuring ventilation and lighting, reducing the uneasiness of the cramped environment.


When FESCH took on the project, they opened up the divisions to create a much larger and more flowing space. That’s not to say the fabric of the original building has been completely eradicated; the new home is a blend of old and new features.

Despite creating larger rooms, the property is still very small – it contains a total area of just 395-square-feet (36.7-square-meters), which is spread over two floors.


The first floor is concerned with the kitchen and dining area, as well as a bathroom. On the upper level there’s a living room and a bedroom.

Given that other buildings flank both sides of the house, window opportunities are limited to the front and back gables. Although, light doesn’t seem to be a problem thanks to the presence of the large floor-to-ceiling windows.


Photos © Misae Hiromatsu, Yuming Song, Daisuke Matsumoto

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. I’m curious how high is the ceiling at the highest point? At what ever the height, it looks that one can stand upright in the front or inner portion of each loft space. And the coziness owed to the lowering back or out portion of each room (and the front/back outer walls of the house).seems comforting and welcome. And each of four main spaces enjoy the benefit of the highest point of the ceiling and roif line make the home seem much roomier than its 395sqft. Absolutely one of the most well thought out of tiny spaces and a fresh and brilliant restoration. I love everything about this place except it’s in China and I’m not! Stunning and elegant in its rich furnishings and simplicity of style….?