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The Modern Face o f an Old Compound


  As one of the hundreds of hutongs(traditiOal narrow alleys) hidden in the old cdistrict of Beijing. Fanfjia Hutong features a similar aura and is lillcd on both sides with tladi tional resieenees with black tiles and brick walls. Visitors to ihc hiutong will see old men leisurely napping in the afternoon sun or reacling newspapers under the shade of trecs wllile cats prowl rooftops and dogs lounge leisurely in the lame. Compzired wit1h Beijing´s other traditional hutongs ,nothing is out of orderinary until one enters No.46 Compound.

  New Look

  Upon entering No.46 Compound. visitors are first stuned by the Red Square. an avanI一garec theater with seating for 520. Nicknamed "Red Owl" by its aichitect Ke Wci. the theater was converted from an abandoned factory .The origingal framework ofthe building was re tained when the outer faczide became cnveloped by gigantic. red steel strips that radiate outwards from the center,adding a modern flavor.Nearby the Red Square is a rectangular glass house. Trainspotting Theme Restaurant .It frequently hosts cultrual events with a variety of themes.movie screening the most common. Each weekend. the restaurant illvites the director to engage ln a dialogue wiIh the audidience after his film is screened.

  A number of dance troupes modern hotels. design studios.cafes. and shops offering creative toys have settled in the comoound. surrounded by protected historic buildings. The modern tenants and the traditional surroundings create a contrast so stzcrk that attributing any of it to a spe cifie period becomes impossible.

   Factory t0 Culture Zone

   The compound once served as headquatters of China National Machine Tools Corporation (CNMTC) From the 1950s through 90s, the company built work shops. boiler rooms. office buildings, and auditoriums in the compound that covers 9,000 square meters. However, along with Beijing´s urban development over the years, industrial Tactories began migrating outside of down town areas. After its original tenants left, the compound sat unused for years until 2008.

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