Precast drainage systems have always been associated with strength, durability and sustainability. However in Asia, traditional precast drainage components are demonstrating their versatility by becoming the basis for an affordable housing prototype.
James Law Cybertecture, a leading Hong Kong based architecture studio, has developed a prototype for low-cost housing solutions made out of concrete pipes. These micro homes are stackable and could slot into gaps between city buildings.
The project sees 2.5m wide precast concrete pipes transformed into 9.29-square-metre homes and equipped with doors that can be unlocked using a smartphone.
The architect James Law envisions these tubular structures being stacked up on top of one another, creating affordable starter homes for young people in vacant city-centre locations across Hong Kong.
He believes that young people could live happily in the tubes for one to two years and are perfect for those would can’t afford their own private housing.
“OPod Tube Housing is an experimental, low-cost, micro-living housing unit to ease Hong Kong’s affordable housing problems,” he said.
Although the OPod is still only a concept, a prototype has been developed to show how a typical home could look. Inside the curved concrete walls, the home contains facilities for living, cooking and bathing.
Due to a rising population and limited development space Hong Kong is currently facing a major housing crisis. High demand for accommodation, skyrocketing property prices, and land limited by the city’s island geography has led architects to become more creative with the space.
They cost around £11,000 to manufacture and they could be rented out for as little as £300 a month. This is in contrast to the £1,500 rent for a one-bed apartment in the centre of the city.
Because each tube is only 2.5 metres wide, they could easily slot into narrow gaps between buildings. In addition, each unit only weighs 20 tonnes so they can be lifted with a standard crane allowing them to be relocated with relative ease.
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