architect: James Law Cybertecture
location: Hong Kong
Hong Kong has long had the smallest average flat sizes in the world and it seems that finding a place to live is never been harder than in 2017.
According to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Hong Kong is ranked as having the least affordable housing market in the world. Currently the city is up against a big housing crisis, due to a population growth and a high demand for accomodation. Facing the city’s ongoing struggle, the Opod Tube House, conceived by James Law Cybertecture, is an experimental low cost, micro-living housing unit constructed out of a 2.5 meters diameter concrete water pipe of 22 tons (about 19.959 kg). The design utilizes a strong concrete structure to house an apartment for one or two persons with living, cooking and bathroom inside 100 square feet (9.29 square meters).
Each tube house is equipped with smartphone locks for online access and space saving micro-living furniture.
They can be stacked to become a low-rise building as a modular community in very short time, and can be located and relocated in different sites conveniently. The concrete pipe is recycled from old water pipes and thanks to their weight, they do not require any brackets or bolts to secure the pods together, keeping the installation costs low.
The interior space of the Opod Tube House is also designed in every single detail, beginning from the white flat wooden floor to the mini fridge and the rail to hang clothes. Saving money and space, Opod Tube House is meant to be a low-cost residential pipe-structure, in order to create affortable starter homes for young people in vacant and untapped city-centre locations across Hong Kong.
The affordable price of the Opod Tube House could allow to solve the big housing crisis, proving a temporary relief for those who are looking for something in short term.
Are these tiny apartments going to be the real solution or just a pipe dream?