The past, present and future meet in Baitasi

Baitasi House of the Future is smart and old-school under one roof.

Baitasi House of the Future retains the original wood frames. A new WikiHouse system was installed for the kitchen and bathroom. 

Baitasi is one of the more well-preserved historic hutong neighbourhoods in Beijing. dot Architects converted one of the houses, a 30sqm wood-framed house with a 80sqm yard into a futuristic space fit for its client, a tech company for smart homes.

A tech company for smart homes in the middle of the historic neighbourhood of Baitasi, Beijing.

To minimise construction work and retain the beauty of traditional Chinese wooden architecture, the decaying roof was replaced while interior partitions and the illegal building works in the yard were done away with.

The team then installed two moveable furniture modules and one fixed module, allowing the interior to transform between a three-bedroom house and a small office. The facade can be opened up to connect the living space and the outdoors.

The moveable modules are controlled by a smart TV system which also controls lighting modes, curtains, security alarm and other home appliances.

The interior is flexible; walls can be moved around to transform the space from a three-bedroom apartment to a small home office.

To minimise intervention, a WikiHouse system was installed for a kitchen and toilet. The open-source module is lightweight and digitally fabricated. It is faster and cleaner to build, suiting the crowded and noise-sensitive neighbourhood very well.