Beijing's Danwei residents have remodelled their residential buildings over the years and added new uses. At the same time, new urban spaces have been created. A selection of these collectively created spaces are presented with large-format drawings, photo series and interviews.

From the 1950s onwards, numerous housing estates were built in Beijing that took up the ideas of modern urban planning. In contrast to the European and Soviet models of the 1920s and 1950s, these neighbourhoods are completely enclosed. They are mostly part of a work unit (='Danwei') and thus assigned to specific workplaces. Originally, the residents of a Danwei were made up of employees and their families.

In the meantime, residents have changed and remodelled parts of their residential neighbourhoods. The aim is to increase the living space or to establish commercial uses such as retail, services or small businesses. The conversions range from simple extensions and conversions to independent additional buildings on neighbouring areas.

Step by step, multifunctional public squares and streets have been created from originally private, settlement-related open spaces. They are characterised by a complex spatial morphology, the overlapping of different uses and a special liveliness. The conversion process is characterised by the art of improvisation and ingenuity.