© Benjamin Beller
BaO is a Beijing-based architecture studio founded in 2010 by French architect Benjamin Beller. The studio operates under the strong belief that it is through acting and engaging with both research and design simultaneously that architecture becomes constructive. Through writings, speculative projects, installations, architectural design, urban and strategic planning, BaO systematically tries to advocate a bold and playful architecture.
BaO’s commitment in China emerges from a fundamental desire to embrace the current globalization momentum and celebrate cultural heterogeneity as opportunities for cross-fertilization. The open agenda of such an approach is to investigate, negotiate with, and hopefully transgress the consensuses under which the current architectural production operates.
The studio works simultaneously on urban and rural contexts as a way to challenge their ever-imposed dichotomy and reassess the role the architect plays in the existing dynamics of society. BaO is interested in the making of “exceptions”, in risk-taking, and in an architecture that is optimistic and ready to break away from conventions. Our projects go beyond the question of design by working extensively on programs, scenarios, strategies and tactics that challenge the notion of buildings.
As a trans-national, trans-disciplinary, trans-forming practice, BaO keeps adapting and testing new territories while advocating bold and critical ideas.