Local architect James Law of James Law Cybertecture has been working on developing ways to overcome some of the pressing housing issues facing Hong Kong, and his latest plan involves an innovative use of large concrete water pipes.
Law has designed a 100-square-foot “OPod” micro-home within the 2.5-meter-wide pipe, which looks more comfortable than you might at first imagine. Each apartment, which can be accessed using its own smartphone “key,” has an all-glass front to allow in natural light. White-painted walls and a wooden floor (a flat one!) give it a modern feel, and the space incorporates basic amenities for a comfortable living experience. These include a mini fridge and microwave oven, and a sofa that converts into a bed. The concealed rear part of the OPod contains the bathroom, comprising a shower and toilet. Storage is offered by way of shelves and rails in the main living space.
The architect suggests the houses could be a temporary solution for young people moving to the center of Hong Kong and in need of reasonably priced accommodation until they can afford something bigger.
Law told Deezen the OPod costs around $15,000 to build, but could be rented for around $400 a month, significantly cheaper than the $2,000 currently charged in Hong Kong for an average one-bedroom apartment in the center.
And there are other advantages besides the price. The design means the tube-like homes can be stacked on top of each other with relative ease to create a low-rise apartment block, and because little extra structural work is needed, they can be quickly moved or relocated to other parts of the city, if necessary.
This isn’t the first time Law has come up with a design to tackle Hong Kong’s housing crisis. A couple of years back he designed a slightly larger living space called the Alpod. Made from aluminum, the design offers 480 square feet of living space and costs around $65,000 to buy.
As for the the OPod, it has yet to show up as part of Hong Kong’s housing stock, but Law is currently talking to local government officials about the possibility of adding the home to the local rental market in the near future.