The site is to the east of the Forbidden City

Seven Courtyards

Shortlisted competition entry to refurbish a traditional courtyard house adjacent to Beijing’s Forbidden City.

Proposal for the remodelling of a traditional courtyard house by the east entrance of the Forbidden City in Beijing. We explored the potential of introducing light into the existing basement and in so doing creating seven courtyards. A processional route from the car park in the lower basement to the central courtyard was created that passes through a series of halls of differing geometries.


Private Residence
Invited Competition


Beijing, China




Shortlisted competition entry

Design Team
David Kohn, Anna Crosby, Dingle Price

A traditional courtyard house with six new courtyards added
New courtyards bring light to the existing basement
An homage to IM Pei, in the shape of a pyramid, covers the courtyard within the courtyard
An oval panelled room offers a pause on the journey from the car sub-basement to the ground
An unexpectedly rich experience