Hutongs are a form of traditional city grid pattern unique to China. Essentially a long, narrow street, a hutong is made up of a series of courtyards called siheyuan, joined side by side to one another. The narrow width and strong walls with decorated gateways are unique to Chinese architecture. 

Shijia Hutong is located in close proximity to the Forbidden City, giving it significant land value.  This has meant that preservation of the Hutong has not always been the primary consideration. However both are notable features of  Chinese architecture and heritage, and their preservation is extremely important.

Our Project

In April 2010, we were invited by the Shijia Community Centre to conduct a collaborative workshop in the Shijia Hutong. With financial support from the Prince’s Charities Foundation (PCF) the workshop was intended to identify issues affecting residents and propose interventions to help the Hutong.

A number of projects emerged from the Shijia workshop, including the creation of seating areas, introduction of trees and planting and development of a complete beautification strategy.
Following the identification of these recommendations, measures are being taken to deliver them, including obtaining funding. Additionally, we were tasked to look at redesigning the Shijia Hutong’s Courtyard 24; this is detailed on a separate project sheet.

Key info

This project is

  • Engage


Report submitted to client


Shijia Hutong Beijing


  • Traditional Chinese architecture

Project contact

Peter Quintanilla

Project partners

  • PCFC
  • Shijia Community Centre