OPod Tube: Micro-Apartments coming to Hong Kong

Hong Kong, where a one-bedroom apartment can rent for $2,100, suffers from affordable housing shortages. In this city, people are forced into inexpensive black market apartments known as coffin cubicles. A Hong Kong-based studio called James Law cyberstructure wants to change that through the development of affordable micro-housing, reports My Modern Met (MMM).

The firm constructed a prototype of the OPod Tube House not long ago, a modular housing project that was once a concrete water pipe. Each 100-square-foot space measuring a little over 8 feet wide is designed to house one or two people. It comes with standard features one might find in any apartment, including a folding bench that doubles as a bed, space for a mini-fridge and microwave, a bathroom, and a big circular door which is opened and closed via a smartphone. This also doubles as a window for natural light, which is enhanced by a whitewashed interior.

Studio founder James Law said in Dezeen that the micro-apartment would be a good option for “young people who can’t afford private housing” and need a temporary living situation for a couple of years. OPod Tube House is interesting because its size means it can fit almost anywhere, making it well-suited to a crowded place like Hong Kong.

Installation costs are also relatively low because no brackets and bolts are needed to secure them – each one weighs 22 tons.

“Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building,” Law tells Curbed. “We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.”

According to the firm, the OPod Tube House can be constructed for a little over $15,000 and rented to the tune of $400 a month, offering options for renters in Hong Kong and other cities around the world.