The Newsletter 68 Summer 2014

BHUTONG | Adaptation, Special issue of Abitare, on the Beijing Hutong

Bert de MuynckMónica Carriço

SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Beijing has undergone several infrastructural and architectural makeovers that have altered the morphology of the city’s historical core. During the past two decades this process accelerated and the Old City, the terrain within the former city walls (turned second ring road) became a focal point for architects, conservation experts, local residents and governmental institutions to think about – but also to refute – the importance and need for preservation of its accumulated layers of history, in casu the hutong, the typical narrow alleyways that provide China’s capital with its characteristic social life and construction culture.