Micro-home solution to housing affordability

Design firm, James Law Cybertecture, has created an experimental low-cost home solution to Hong Kong’s housing crisis.

According to the 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Hong Kong is ranked the least-affordable housing market in the world for the eighth time in a row.

James Law Cybertecture aims to create a solution to that problem through micro homes called OPods. Measuring 2.5m in diameter and 9.2sqm, the homes can be unlocked with a smartphone.

At just 2.5m in diameter and 9.2sqm, OPods are a space-saving as well as housing affordability solution. Picture: James Law Cybertecture

Each OPod is created using two concrete pipes that are commonly used as underground storm-water drainage. The concrete material means the homes provide good insulation qualities for both heat and fire safety.

Featuring living, cooking, bathroom and storage spaces, each OPod is fitted out with all the basics one could need. Picture: James Law Cybertecture

Inside the walls are whitewashed and a flat wooden floor has been installed to make it easier for occupants to walk around.

Each OPod has a living area, cooking facilities, toilet, shower and storage for one to two people and features space-saving furniture, such as a bench seat that can be folded down and transformed into a bed.

Clever design means even a bathroom with toilet and shower fits into the 9.2sqm home. Picture: James Law Cybertecture

The glazed front panel doubles as a door and window and additional natural light is let into the home via strip lighting under the shelves and a lamp on the wall.

James Law, the founder of James Law Cybertecture, feels that OPods are a good solution for young people as the modular homes can be stacked to create buildings or communities, which can be fitted into small pockets of space in the centre of Hong Kong.

The modular design of OPod homes means they can be used to create buildings or communities. Picture: James Law Cybertecture

The design firm, James Law Cybertecture, say the OPods cost just under $20,000 each to manufacture, and could be rented out for less than $550 a month. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Hong Kong is currently just over $3,000 per month.

The OPod housing project is still in the experimental stages and James Law is currently in negotiation with local government.

Featuring a small hanging rail and shelves, there’s enough storage space in the OPods to accommodate one to two people. Picture: James Law Cybertecture

Originally published as Micro-home solution to housing affordability by Alexandra O’Brien. Author at realestate.com.au.