Beijing’s Green Courtyard

By staff reporter DANG XIAOFEI

 In the center of the courtyard are pomegranate trees and a well and underground is the artificial wetland.

NANLUOGUXIANG Street, one of the oldest communities in Beijing, is usually thronged with tourists. One of the most captivating features of the area lies in the old courtyards. However, due to disrepair and poor living conditions, this unique construction, the symbol of Beijing, is on the brink of disappearing.

To fight this threat, the old constructions are transformed to meet the demands of the 21st century. The No. 3 courtyard of Banchang Alley in Nanluo-guxiang is an example of this. A “water recycling” concept integrated into the repair work has allowed the courtyard to operate in a green way.

Saving Rainwater

This is an average courtyard, free from the luxuries reserved for the rich; but the tranquility as well as the vitality of the compound is palpable from the first step inside. Walking through a short passage and a circular entrance, you find yourself in a small courtyard where two big trees stand. The newly-decorated main house in the northern quarter of the courtyard, two wing houses to the east and west, and a house opposite the main building constitute a standard Beijing courtyard.

Processed water constantly flows into the flowerbed and fish pond, saving water and adding vitality to the courtyard. 

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