Penda and MINI Living's Urban Cabin draws from Beijing hutongs | Architecture | Dezeen

In our latest Dezeen x MINI Living movie, Oke Hauser and Corinna Natter of MINI Living and Penda co-founder Dayong Sun explain how the micro home they built in Beijing references the city’s hutong neighbourhoods.

Penda designed the tiny structure with MINI Living, as one of 10 conceptual homes that went on show for the China House Vision exhibition.

It is designed to to marry together the heritage of Beijing’s hutongs – the tightly packed courtyard neighbourhoods that are common in the Chinese capital – and ideas for the future of housing.

The tiny home is the fourth instalment of the MINI Living Urban Cabin programme, following installations in London, New York and Los Angeles.

The project sees MINI Living work with a local architect in each city to adapt a 15-square-metre structure, to explore ideas for how people could live comfortably in a home with a very small footprint.

To consider this approach in relation to Beijing, Sun drew from his own experience growing up in a hutong home.

The Urban Cabin houses a bedroom and living room on one side, and a kitchen and bathroom on the other, which each open onto a central semi-enclosed courtyard in the middle of the structure, described here as an “experience space”.

Sun added a swing to this space – a reference to his childhood memories of living in a hutong.

“Hutongs always combine interior and exterior space, physical space and emotional space,” Sun explains in the movie, which Dezeen filmed for MINI Living in Beijing.

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