The lilong is an urban housing typology that developed in Shanghai between 1850 and 1950. Lilong settlements are composed of narrow alleys (3-4 meters wide) organized in a grid-like pattern and leading to row houses. Built in the european concessions in a context of rapid urbanization, they are a hybrid of traditional Chinese courtyards and Western row houses. They were built with chinese constructions techniques (mainly brick) following a dense and rationalized occidental model.
Narrow alleys are space of social interactions. Houses often present an external kitchen opened on the outside. New space are organized around it and acts as a semi-private house extension, most of the time carefully designed.