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Concrete Tubes Turned Into Affordable Pods Can Be The Solution For Housing Problem

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To say that Hong Kong has a housing problem is an understatement. Real estate has become so expensive in the city that high-rise buildings crammed full of tenants have become the norm.

Architect James Law may have a solution to this problem in the form of concrete water pipes converted into tiny homes. Law, who is from James Law Cybertecture, designed the OPod Tube Housing system, which repurposes concrete tubes that are just eight feet in diameter.

He transformed these small tubes into micro-houses that can hold 100-square feet of living space.

Each tube home can accommodate one to two persons.


It has a living room with a convertible bench/bed, a mini refrigerator, a bathroom and shower, and ample storage for clothes and other belongings.

Practicality is the inspiration behind the tube houses and best suited for young people looking for living spaces and also city governments looking into affordable housing options.

At 22 tons per piece, the tube houses are far from being lightweight but they are easily installed.


The tubes are meant to be stacked on top of each other with affordable installation costs.

Hong Kong has one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world. In 2014, it has a population of nearly 6700 people per square kilometer.

To get an idea of the severity of the housing problem in Hong Kong, check out how it fares compared to Singapore.

According to the South China Morning Post:

“Singapore is approximately 65 per cent of the size of Hong Kong, with a population of 5.5 million living in a land area of 719 sq km. In comparison, Hong Kong has 7.3 million people living on 1,105 sq km of land.”

“Population density is high in both places: on paper, Singapore is the more crowded, with an average of 7,792 people living on every square kilometre, compared with Hong Kong’s 6,780 people, but the leafy and spacious cityscape in Singapore makes it feel less congested than Hong Kong.”

The firm creates the OPod for urban areas that cannot accommodate standard construction.

This means that the tubes can be fitted and stacked in narrow alleyways between buildings. Metal stairways will give access to get to the stacked units.

What about the cost? The OPod will go for an estimated $15,000 each if plans will push through.

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