In 2016, the People’s Architecture Office (PAO) released their first-ever Plugin House, a minimalist dwelling designed to provide modular, affordable housing in hard to reach areas of China. Although the homes have been installed in a variety of locations, this particular unit in Shenzhen bridges the gap between attractive, purposeful design and mindful historic preservation.
The rural Plugin House was installed as a novel way to work with housing laws for the preservation of dilapidated buildings in Shenzhen, where the local government is responsible for the renovation of uninhabitable buildings. They approached PAO, who prefabricated the homes to fit within a number of the town’s confined spaces, prepared them for transit, and shipped the dwellings to the area where they would be assembled. The exterior of the home features a walled-in garden area, glazed windows, and an angular design, while the interior provides inhabitants with a spacious, bright, and airy loft-style split. The homes range from 160 to 215 square feet, cost just under $20,000, and utilize a quarter of the energy when compared to surrounding properties.