People’s Architecture Office (China) explores living inside metal tubes!

Location: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong
Project Year: September 2015
Client: Lane Crawford
Material: Galvanized Steel
Architecture: People’s Architecture Office
Principals: He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng
Project Team: Sean Phillips, Charlotte Yu, Wayne Liu, Gao Tianxia, Leo Chazalon
Photo Credits: Lanes Crawford and People’s Architecture Office




On its 165th anniversary, Lane Crawford, a luxury superstore based in Japan commissioned People’s Architecture Office to create installations that explore vertical living in the future.

PAO imagined the fabric of modern living- immaculately designed exteriors held together by hidden ventilation shafts and other mechanical structures, and turned it inside out. With the tubular shafts now taking the centre stage, resultant installation is a maze of vertical and horizontal metallic shafts with designated spatial functions.


In this envisioned tubular space, the vertical shafts are fixed to the ground while the horizontal ones remain suspended. Metallic cylinders house staircases that lead to upper levels become habitable spaces that offer views from above and oversized speakers. The tubular knots house furniture and seating.
The tubular installation acts as a centerpiece to three Lane Crawford stores- Beijing, Shanghai and China. The raw industrial surfaces contrast with the pristine interior of the upscale retail stores. Standardized parts were factory-made and assembled on site, with the installation featuring furniture and lighting by People’s Industrial Design Office.



People’s Architecture Office explores the potential of ventilation shafts as a building module in a world that has begun to embrace shipping containers and concrete pipes as an effective building block. The strength, durability and availability of the material make it a ready-to-use material, lest the world hits a dystopian low and needs an easy material to its rescue!


17– Anshika Srivastava, Volume Zero

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