People's Architecture Office, Beijing, China
People's Architecture Office

Based in the center of Beijing, People's Architecture Office draws inspiration from social and cultural issues that arise from practicing in one of the most tumultuous and lively locations today.

In collaboration with our sister company People's Industrial Design Office, PAO strives to integrate product design and architecture. We view this as a way of bringing architecture to a broader public.

For example, the Courtyard House Plugin, a prefabricated system, is used for upgrading historic neighborhoods in China. Modern amenities that are taken for granted such as toilets, bathing facilities, and kitchens are inserted into structures that are centuries old. Without destroying historic elements, the Courtyard House Plugin allows us to build a house within a house. We developed a new structural composite material that halves the cost of renovation while improving energy efficiency by three times. Cam-locks molded into the panels simplifies construction so that it can be built in a matter of hours by anyone.


The modular Pop-up Habitat tent system and the Tricycle House are further examples of products as architecture. The Pop-Up Habitat is lightweight, collapsible and structural, and easily adapted to different sizes, locations and functions. The Tricycle House is a mobile single-family home that responds to astronomical housing costs, air pollution, and traffic of crowded cities like Beijing.

People's Architecture Office also engages in traditional forms of architecture with an emphasis on non form-driven design. For instance, our 21 Cake Headquarters uses three basic colors of glass: red, yellow, and blue. Layers of colored glass overlap to produce infinite color gradations depending on the position of the viewer and the surrounding lighting condition. The design for the River Heights Pavilion mixes discreet elements in a similar way but using space. The building is comprised of distinct programmed strips that are organized in a way to promote social interaction across the diverse spaces.

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