Baitasi Historical and Cultural Preservation Area is the earliest in Beijing for cultural heritage.
Preserved as the only large urban landscape of Yuan Dynasty in its capital city of Beijing, Baitasi is rich in cultural contents, epitomising regional culture and the features of an era. During the old housing renovation in Beijing, however, conventional yards were irregularly fragmented in space, houses were old and shabby, it was difficult to build infrastructures, and the residential environment was in urgent need of improvement. In order to advance
population dispersion, upgrade livelihood, recover landscapes, and improve environment, the program for “Baitasi Remade” emerged, as the times demand. Modelled after microcirculation and organic update, oriented around the functions of Beijing as a capital city, and in the new mode featuring governmental leadership, model enterprises, social participants and the involvement of local residents, the “Baitasi Remade” program has resulted in the method being implemented for continuously distributing population, updating physical spaces, improving basic energy, rebuilding public environment, nursing cultural media and reviving the region as a whole. On condition that the original residential function of the area at Baitasi remains unchanged, a new cultural block that incorporates historical traditions with modern facilities will be entirely built.
Baitasi is located in an old low-rise residential district of Beijing, one of the last remaining traditional residential areas in the capital. Currently, options are being explored to provide an alternative path for urban renovation and community revival. With societal advancements, people have realised that standard large-scale demolition and construction of Beijing’s urban core is no longer viable. In its stead, small-scale, organic renovation models are attracting greater attention and use. The main objective of the Beijing Huarong Jinying Investment & Development Company’s “Baitasi Remade” project is to establish a new model for local residents with the aid of public participation and model enterprises and government leadership. It hopes to establish a sustainable population, revitalize the physical spaces, upgrade to basic energy sources, and re-engineer the public environment, thus fostering a cultural revitalisation of the region as a whole. While maintaining the unique character of Hutong neighbourhoods and the residential functions of traditional courtyards, “Baitasi Remade” will inject new elements of design as well as cultural and creative models to create a new cultural district comprehensively integrating tradition, innovation, and style.
Baita Pagoda Historical and Cultural Preservation Area is the oldest cultural heritage area in Beijing. It is the only large piece of urban landscape remaining from the Yuan dynasty in Beijing. The “Baitasi Remade Project” uses a micro-circulation and organic renewal model to create a new cultural area that blends traditional historical features with modern facilities while allowing Baita Temple to be a place where people can live once again.
Artist Notes by Nick Luscombe
A hyper-condensed micro-drama created from sounds I recorded during an afternoon as I was guided through the streets of Baitasi in April 2018.
This was my first time in China and I loved the feeling of being in this part of Beijing. The energy of the people was intoxicating.
Children played in the playground of the Fusuijing Building,…..old men played board games on the street nearby….. I felt as if I was in a dream, woken only by the electric bikes beeping and speeding their way skilfully through the narrow streets.
This sound portrait is a time capsule of my drifting pychogeographical adventures during my first 24 hours in this part of the city.
Nick Luscombe is the founder and creative director of Musicity. He presents the Sony Award Winning BBC Radio 3 Late Junction programme and produces radio for the BBC and other networks.
His work is inspired by memory and location and the unique power that sound has to transport us.