TAO (Trace Architecture Office), one of the most active and influential architectural firms in China’s contemporary architecture field, was founded by architect HUA Li In 2009, and is based in Beijing. Being critical at contemporary architecture as an obsession to fashionable forms in media-driven globalized consumerism, TAO visions architecture as an evolving organism, being an inseparable whole with its environment, rather than just a formal object. With most projects positioned in particular cultural and natural settings in China, TAO explore the essence of place; make architecture deeply rooted in its cultural and environmental context with respect of local condition. The sense of place, response to climate, efficient use of local resource, site-responsive construction method, such issues are always explored in every TAO project responding to its specific situation. TAO’s works have been exhibited internationally in Venice, Berlin, Vienna and New York.
Born in 1972 in China, HUA Li received his B.Arch. from Tsinghua University in 1994. He then studied at Yale University and received his M. Arch. in 1999. He practiced in New York and Beijing before founding TAO (Trace Architecture Office) In 2009. HUA Li and TAO’s key works include: Museum of Handcraft Paper, XiaoQuan Elementary School, Wuyishan Bamboo Raft Factory, Forest Building, Split Courtyard House, TiensTiens Café, Lens Office Beijing, Xinzhai Coffee Manor and Huandao Middle School. HUA Li and TAO has won several important architectural awards including Design Vanguard 2012 and GDGB China Awards by Architectural Record Magazine, Young Architect Award of 2012 China Architecture Media Awards, ARCASIA Awards for Architecture and WA Awards, shortlisted in Aga Kahn Award 2013, nominated in BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2016 & 2018. Hua Li also teaches at Tsinghua University and CAFA as a visiting professor, and has been a guest critic for studio reviews at HKU, University Arts Berlin and Tianjin University. He has given lectures in many domestic and overseas universities and international architectural conferences in both Asia and Europe.