[Siheyuan] = Harmony: Recover Harmony in Beijing Courtyard Houses
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Siheyuan is the archetype of traditional Chinese courtyard housing complex. This thesis explores the concept of harmony imbedded in the Siheyuan in context of Beijing. A number of architectural attributes of the model are presented at city, neighborhood, and dwelling scales. It is a flexible mechanism that is adaptive to changes, until it goes out of balance. In the 20th century, Siheyuan is transformed during Beijing’s residential densification. Positive communal transformation and harmonious neighborhood has appeared when the archetype stays in balance. Negative transmutation and loss of harmony happens when balance is broken by overcrowded random infills. Siheyuan has its potential and value for residential transformation despite its lower density. This thesis intends to bring the broken model back in balance. Today’s Beijing Siheyuan preservation and revitalization needs to be according the archetype’s own language in order to recover harmony in the neighborhoods.