Over the years we’ve seen a variety of ideas for tiny homes. We’ve seen custom built models that look more like backyard sheds than homes, we’ve seen people repurpose shipping containers, school buses, or even dumpsters (after a thorough sanitizing process of course), and basically anything at hand that can be refitted to provide at least basic shelter for an individual to a single family.
One newer concept is proposing the use of concrete water pipes, which are only about 8 feet in diameter, as micro apartments for one to two people. This would provide roughly 100 sq feet of living space, so it is certainly not for those who suffer from claustrophobia and finding storage may require some creative design on your part.
A company in Hong Kong, James Law Cybertecture, is using the concept to help solve the housing problem in Hong Kong and other major cities, where living space is often at a premium, and populations are still on the rise.
“OPod Tube House -Hong Kong
OPod Tube House is an experimental, low cost, micro living housing unit to ease Hong Kong’s affordable housing problems. Constructed out of low cost and readily available 2.5m diameter concrete water pipe, the design ultilizes the strong concrete structure to house a mirco-living apartment for one/two persons with fully kitted out living, cooking and bathroom spaces inside 100 sq.ft. Each OPod Tube Houses are equipped with smart phone locks for online access as well as space saving furniture that maximises the space inside. OPod Tube Houses can be stacked to become a low rise building and a modular community in a short time, and can also be located/relocated to different sites in the city.”
Their concrete pipe concept housing uses some state of the art technology, such as smart locks, high efficiency water heaters, and specially designed furniture to maximize the available space, in an effort to create affordable housing options for single men and women, couples, or a pair of roommates.
These micro apartments can be stacked into low rise apartment complexes, and can even be moved from part of the city to another if the owner has a need to relocate.
They are calling their experimental micro housing OPods, and while still mainly experimental, we have seen the interest and demand for affordable tiny housing grow steadily over the last decade or so, with no real signs of slowing down.
Plus, these tubular and modular units may prove to be better suited to city life than the other designs we are more accustomed to seeing online or even on television shows dedicated to tiny living.
Also, since concrete water pipes are fairly common across the world, relatively inexpensive, and pretty strong due to their construction materials and design, it is certainly an idea that can be put to practical use almost anywhere that the zoning laws will allow.