In recent years, with the accelerated urban development of public spaces in China, public washrooms have been assigned numerous new roles. Designers have come up with a variety of proposals which suggest turning public washrooms into a place where social gathering can be redefined, and temporary stay can be more engaging. Although the scale of public washrooms is significantly smaller than that of any other type of architecture, Chinese architects have been working innovatively on fitting the public washrooms into the changing social contexts. Below are a few examples that demonstrate some current architectural experiments with public washroom design in China.
People's Architecture Office: The Latest Architecture and News
The Design Museum in London has announced the shortlist projects in the running for the 2017 edition of their prestigious Beazley Design of the Year award. Now in its tenth year, the award was established to “celebrate design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”
This year, a total of 62 projects have been nominated across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport – including 13 projects from the Architecture category. A winner from each category and the overall winner will be announced on January 25, 2018. Previous winners of the architecture category include: IKEA’s Better Shelter last year (also the overall winner), Alejandro Aravena's UC Innovation Center in 2015, and Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Center (overall winner in 2014).
See all of the architecture nominees below.
After a three-day event attracting over 1,000 visitors, the 2016 ARCHMARATHON came to a close, with the presentation of its annual awards. Now in its 3rd year, the Milan-based exchange awarded projects in ten different categories, as well as an overall winner, and a “crowd award” based on voting on the event’s website. The 42 presented projects were judged by the international jury, chaired by Luca Molinari and composed of internationally famous architects and critics such as Lucy Bullivant, William Menking, Wassim Naghi, Li Brian Zhang and Elie Haddad. See all 12 awarded projects after the break.
Inspired by the recent popularity of amateur photography in China, People’s Architecture Office (PAO) + People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) repurposed reflective photography panels to create multipurpose Pop-Up Habitats. Incredibly lightweight and comprised of only flexible steel rings and a soft fabric, the Pop-Up Habitats can fold quickly and form self-supporting structures when expanded.
The Pop-Up Habitat has been exhibited in numerous architecture and design festivals around the world -- including Beijing Design Week and the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen -- and in numerous forms. The Pop-Up Habitats have been turned into an auditorium, a gallery and a canopy, in addition to “an unintended but apt backdrop for selfies" at one exhibition. A consumer version has also been developed as a “weatherproof modular tent.”
Check out some of the exhibitions the Pop-Up Habitats have been featured in after the break.
Tricycle House and Tricycle Garden / People's Architecture Office (PAO) + People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO)
Designed by People’s Architecture Office (PAO) + People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO), the Tricycle House and Tricyle Garden was designed to address the theme of the 2012 Get It Louder Exhibition. The inability to own land is a fundamental condition in China unique from many western countries. The Tricycle House suggests a future where the temporary relationship and the public nature between people and the land they occupy is embraced. More images and architects’ description after the break.