Density, Proximity and Temporality. Forms of Collective Living of New Workers in Beijing in the Context of Production Transformation

Pengyu Chen:

This research explores new forms of dwellings for a rising social group: the new workers that have emerged from the shifting of the urban planning in the metropolitan environment of Beijing. The overheated real estate market has quickly consumed the buildable areas of Beijing and made the typical nuclear-family apartment the dominant housing type. The municipality of Beijing and the market have failed to appreciate the demographic shift are continuing to develop the nuclear-family apartment type. This research aims to identify this neglected social group, new workers, and explore new forms of dwellings and collective living in the metropolitan environment. In contrast to the dwelling form of the nuclear family as a social unit or stable communities stay the same for decades, the form of dwelling suitable for the highly atomised and mobilised subject should create new social relations that align with the workers’ needs and lifestyles. On the scale of the unit, the collective and the city, this research proposes a new form of dwelling that satisfies the new workers’ lifestyles and basic daily needs, creates a sense of identity for new workers as a cohesive community and forms a flexible network of living complexes on the urban scale.

Mapping of the four types in selected sites.
Site map.
Individual Unit types.


Grouping Diagrams.
Structure Frame.
Typical Floor Plan.
Interior Views, perspectives.


Design application, axonometric.


Read the whole dissertation here.

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