Submitted by Don Doman.
How many people can afford a new home these days? Tent cities, tiny houses, and homeless multitudes are just part of a housing problem that has cities scrambling for answers and solutions. With the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and Social Security possibly the next target for cutting by the Trump administration our Baby Boomer seniors may soon find themselves looking for a place to call home . . . that they can afford. The answer may come from Hong Kong.
Architect James Law of James Law Cybertecture has designed living quarters made from concrete water pipes. His creation is called OPOD Tube Housing, which he designed for the Hong Kong housing crisis. “OPod Tube Housing 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 utilizes the strong concrete structure to house a micro-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 maximizes 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.” – James Law Cybertecture
I think the OPOD Tube Houses are ideal for followers of Hobbits and J.R.R. Tolkien. Building codes not withstanding, I think various new homeowners using OPODS in Steilacoom would be ideal. Built into the sides of the hills with views of McNeil Island and Key Peninsula these modular houses could make cozy and inexpensive homes/condos with fantastic vistas.
The OPOD structures could bring immediate shelter to Pierce County homeless as well as student housing near our colleges and universities. As housing needs change, these concrete structures could be transported to new locations to meet new demands at a fraction of the costs of demolition and new construction.
Building space is always at a premium, but housing units that can fit in, around, and on top of both municipal and commercial buildings offers both opportunity and possibilities.