Isobel Lord
Low Rise Medium Density Housing in Beijing
Chairs on the Street
Unlike the striking verticality of Shanghai’s city, the centre of Beijing and many of the inner city neighbourhoods which surround it are low-rise. These traditional inner-city pockets are often called hutongs, a reference to the hutongs (narrow lanes) that characterise them. The narrow width of the hutongs means that the streets are often crowded with people, bicycles and small trawling vehicles rather than cars. Relatively safe from vehicular intrusion, dogs loiter and people sit out the front of their homes, using the street as an extended living space – chairs and barbeques are tied to street poles, although people often huddle in groups on low stools instead. Several stools have been placed around the gallery for sitting and talking.