What would you like to see?

What are you interested in?


Blog Filters



Living in a Bubble, Seriously

By John Kirchner September 16, 2009

Do you see that sort of transparent-looking, sort of reflective, sort of strange bubble coming out of the side of the house in the photo? That’s actually an addition built onto the side of the house.

Yes, really. The house is in Beijing, China, and the idea behind the bubble is that it allows for architects to add to these old homes without destroying the visual character of the area. I’ll let the Beijing-based architects at MAD explain:

The Hutongs are historic poor neighbourhoods of central Beijing. Though the Hutongs delight tourists, life for the residents is hard: they have limited private space, and no indoor shower or toilet. At the same time as these residents are being re-housed on the outskirts of the city by the government, their historic homes are being occupied by the rich, whilst property developers tear down the old buildings and recreate them in ersatz form.

This bubble, then, simply adds a staircase and a toilet to the home without stomping all over the neighborhood’s character. Or does it? Do you think this is better or worse than a more traditional addition?

Thanks to the DIY Maven at for sharing this story.