During Beijing Design Week PAO presented nine of their prefab system for upgrading historic buildings, that the city’s government is now considering for large scale application.
Last year People’s Architecture Office presented their first Courtyard House Plugin, which was a prototype.
A year later, during the Beijing Design Week they presented nine Courtyard House Plugins with three more under construction. The design has proven itself as a project on an urban scale and applied across diverse sites and the Beijing government has endorsed the project and is currently taking it into consideration for large scale application.
Within the span of one year the Courtyard House Plugin expanded from a experimental prototype to a systematic solution applied across Dashilar. Characterized by narrow alleys called Hutongs and old courtyard houses the neighborhood has resisted change, giving it a rare charm. But the area also has limited infrastructure, no sewage lines, and buildings with little insulation.
A diversity of Plugins have been built with a range of features. These include mezzanines and expandable rooms that add precious space. Walls that open by sliding, tilting outwards or upwards provide a more intimate connection between the interior and the courtyard. Options for handling sewage include septic tanks that expel grey water and waterless composting toilets. Kitchens and bathrooms can be added for residential use while more basic versions can be used as work space.
The Courtyard House Plugin, Dashilar, Beijing
Architects: People’s Architecture Office
Client: Dashilar Platform
Principal: He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng
Project Team: Cui Gangjian, Chen Yihuai, Gao Tianxia, Jiang Hao, Lin Tianquan, Liu Qianqian, Sun Liming, Wang Wei, Zhang Minghui, Zhou Ying
Completion: September 2015