Architect proposes we live in these micro drain pipe homes


Has housing become so unaffordable in some capital cities that people would sleep in re-purposed water pipes?

Hong Kong architect James Law believes the answer to that question is "yes" and has designed the OPod Tube micro-home.

Law has proposed old pipes be stacked on top of each other in a kind of make-shift apartment block, on city blocks which would be too difficult to build other housing on.

Because they're so heavy at almost 20,000 kilograms each, the pipes don't need to be bolted or bracketed together, keeping installation costs low.

Each one has 9.2 square metres of living space, though the curved walls add slightly more space and are used for storage.

The interior has been fitted out with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and storage spaces.

The pods could be installed atop buildings, in alleyways and other awkward urban spaces. "Sometimes there's some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it's not easy to build a new building," Law told Curbed.

"We could put some OPods in there and utilise that land."

Law has previously said he sees the pods as temporary accommodation (from one to three years) for people on public housing waiting lists, or saving for a home deposit, rather than permanent living.

He told the South China Morning Post he estimates the cost to buy and fit out a concrete water pipe to be just (US$15,300).

The product is still at prototype stage and was recently showcased at a Hong Kong housing exhibition.

The design is reminiscent of Austria's Das Park hotel which is comprised of former sewer pipes and has been so successful that the owners have opened a second hotel.

Each pipe-suite is made more palatable by the vibrant murals by a local artist and fitted with a bed and lamp.

This story Architect proposes we live in these micro drain pipe homes first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.