There may have been a time when crawling into an empty pipe meant that you were down on your luck.
A Hong Kong architect’s innovative concept for low-cost living could be the answer to Australia’s housing shortage.
This new design for living space, created by Hong Kong-based studio James Law Cybertecture is called “OPod Tube Housing” and is an experimental, low cost, micro-living housing unit constructed out of readily available 2.5-metre-wide concrete water pipes.
Each OPod Tube House is equipped with smart phone locks for online access as well as space saving furniture that maximises the space inside. Benches, shelves, bedding and seating all have fold-down mechanism which makes them multi-functional as well as space savers.
OPod Tube Houses can be stacked to become a low-rise building and a modular community in a short time, and can also be relocated to different sites in the city.
Related reading: Car Maker Mini Reveals Radical ‘Future-Living’ Concept
The firm was inspired to come up with this unique design to ease Hong Kong’s affordable housing problems.
According to a recent survey, Hong Kong is the single most expensive place on the planet to live, with housing prices soaring far higher than many of its inhabitant’s income levels.
James Law Cybertecture founder James Law told Dezeen his proposal was not a permanent solution but it could provide temporary relief for residents looking for something affordable in the short-term. Law said he thinks residents could live happily in the tubes for one to two years and his pipe concept would appeal to young people who can't afford private housing.
The architects believe every 100 metres of elevated highway in Hong Kong can provide up to 250 living units using the OPod Tube Housing system.
“Hong Kong has an estimated 200 kilometres worth of flyovers and elevated highways, which could yield theoretically 500,000 units of affordable housing unit. This represents an opportunity to create affordable and fast housing for many people who struggle to afford expensive housing in Hong Kong.”
OPod Tube Housing also has application in other countries with different but not dissimilar problems.
Last year, it was reported that James Law Cybertecture was working for South African charity organisation, Projekt Ubuntu, and put forward their housing model, which in an African slum township context, would potentially offer a safe and fire proof environment for citizens constantly afraid of township fires.
The structure is also elevated off the ground to prevent the penetration of flood waters.