Aging Within: A Catalog of Reinterpreted Traditional Courtyard Houses
CitationCao, Biru. 2021. Aging Within: A Catalog of Reinterpreted Traditional Courtyard Houses. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractThis project is about challenging the traditional senior living community layout by building a system constructed with modular reinterpreted traditional courtyard houses to sustain a closely-knit senior living community. It is designed for the emergence and expansion of the subgroup of the old, which is also called the Young-Old.
As one of the oldest dwelling typologies, the courtyard house typology occurred in distinctive forms in many parts of the world. In China, there is also a variety of traditional courtyard houses. Among them, the Beijing courtyard house is considered the most outstanding example. This project would reinterpret this traditional housing typology while maintaining its strength in flexibility and variations. The hierarchy and dynamics of courtyards would be explored to create a flexible system that could foster interaction within the community. This project seeks to organize the buildings in the vernacular style of a courtyard typology that is not uniformed. For the building type "courtyard house," the courtyard is the core of living fun and actively. In this project, there are courtyards from small to large and from private to public. And common areas are an integral part of the community, designed for daily use and supplementing private living areas. The private courtyards within the units are arranged around the central public courtyard in different sizes and orientations. By shifting and indenting the units, dynamic circulation connecting each unit's entrance and public courtyard is established.
This project tries to pursue a specific spatial order to integrate each household's internal demands and external environment, creating a dynamic community space with both cohesion and openness. It tries to establish a public life space for the community and bring flows of light, shadow, and time to the place.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367850