These Tiny, Modular Homes Are Made of Concrete Water Pipes

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Feeling the squeeze from Hong Kong's affordable housing crisis, one architect turns to a surprising new micro-housing solution.

With a population of 6,690 people per square kilometer in 2014, Hong Kong has one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world. In fact, it was named the most expensive housing market internationally for the seventh year in a row, according to the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2017

Affordable housing is hard to come by in the Asian metropolis, and space is at a premium—a situation that inspired one Hong Kong architect to take a drastic, out-of-the-box approach to design options for living in a tiny footprint. 

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Conceived by James Law of James Law Cybertecture, the OPod Tube House is an experimental, low-cost, micro-living housing unit constructed as a temporary living space for young people, and made from a 2.5-meter-diameter concrete water pipe. 

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Truly a tiny home, the design concept takes a strong concrete structure and converts it into an apartment for one (or two) with petite living, cooking, and bathroom facilities squeezed inside a 100-square-foot interior. 

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Each tube house is equipped with smartphone locks for online access. Space-saving, micro-living furniture has been built into the side of the pipe to make the interiors feel a wee bit roomier. 

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The pipes can be stacked to become a low-rise building as part of a modular community. Not much is needed in the way of construction, making quick-and-easy installation possible. 

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The OPod can also be conveniently relocated to different sites. The structure is able to fill the gaps between existing buildings, allowing it to be tucked into locations where traditional construction is not an option. 

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The South China Morning Post reported that each OPod will cost around $15,000 (not including the cost of land).

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Project Credits:

Architect of Record/Structural Engineer/Interior Design/Cabinetry Design: James Law Cybertecture International Holdings Ltd 

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