On the Grid: This Flexible Housing Unit Offers Beijing Residents an Affordable Way to Live in the City Center

Chinese architecture studio People's Architecture Office (PAO) has updated its series of flexible prefabricated housing units combatting Beijing's rising affordability crisis. Working with a newly married Beijing native, Mrs. Fan, PAO has created an addition to a dilapidated home in the Changchun Jie Hutong neighborhood, replacing some of the old structures of the home and provided new amenities, such as a kitchen and a bathroom. The Plugin House is 30 times less expensive than buying a new apartment in this area, and is designed to be more energy efficient than its surrounding neighbors, with more natural light and ventilation. PAO also incorporated a compostable toilet system, allowing Mrs. Fan and her family a private alternative to the public toilets used by most residents in the neighborhood. The addition was constructed with modular, prefabricated panels, which are low cost and require little construction effort. The panels can be shortened or lengthened to accommodate the unique requirements of the space. As the surrounding neighborhood is very dense, PAO has arranged the Plugin house's roof at a variety of levels, so as not to block the natural light available to the neighboring homes. The plugin house allows Mrs. Fan ...
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