Hong Kong has some serious housing issues. With the population soaring out of control and little in the way of space, a lot of people are squeezed into incredibly cramped quarters. This issue goes beyond mere discomfort; quality of life is so adversely affected that reports of domestic violence have doubled.
Architectural firms like James Law Cybertecture are actively searching for solutions to the city’s space problem. James Law’s answer takes an unusual form. Called OPod Tube Housing, it is precisely what it sounds like. These tiny housing units are made of sections of old concrete piping which have been stacked together.
Each of the tubes has a 2.5 meter diameter.
The design is clever, because the tubes can be stacked to fill spaces which are going unutilized—for example tight spaces between buildings or under overpasses.
The houses are designed to be low in cost to manufacture and rent. That way they can serve as “transition” housing for young people just starting out in Hong Kong.
The project is still in its developing stages, but the company has put together a prototype.
Homey materials and finishes inside the tube prevent it from seeming cold and sterile on the inside, despite the industrial nature of the concrete tube itself.
If you are getting a sense of déjà vu from looking at this tube house, it might be because you have seen similar designs for hotels. In fact, there are already a number of concrete tube hotels around the world where you can stay right now and get a feel for what it would be like to live inside a tiny slice of piping.
Installation of the tubes would be easy, and require minimal effort or materials. If the tubes are only being stacked four high, the firm says that no additional framework will be required to support them.
Will the tube houses ever make it out of the prototype stage? Hopefully—the architect is currently trying to get permission to install them.