Opod tube house by James law architecture

Opod tube house is the micro-housing unit designed by architect James law in hong kong. Opod tube house is the low cost, affordable housing solution by James law to ease the housing problems in hong kong.


Project nameOpod tube house
LocationHong Kong
ArchitectJames Law
Area100 sq.ft.
  • opod tube house is constructed out of the concrete water pipe having a diameter of 2.5 meters. The tube house is designed for the one/two persons with Living room, cooking, and bathroom in 100 sq.ft. house.
  • Space-saving furniture is designed in opod tube house to maximize the space inside the house.
  • opod tube houses can be easily assembled on the site and can easily relocate on different sites.
opod tube house elevation
opod tube house elevation (source: http://www.jameslawcybertecture.com/?id=1087&section=projects)


  • one of the biggest problems about living in a city like Hong Kong is that it is now getting very very expensive and using a concrete water pipe to create a house that is about 15 square meters so that people can live at an affordable level.
  • a concrete water pipe is actually quite good for housing it is some kind of material that we are used to good insulation properties it is very inexpensive so OPod tube house itself is a long-term housing solution.
  • opod tube house is designed to be transient so that it can be located on spare pieces of land to create fast housing for people and then once the land is no longer available it can be moved to another piece of land and make it available for other people to live.
Opod prototype
Opod prototype (source: http://www.jameslawcybertecture.com/?id=1087&section=projects)


  • The OPod you see here is a prototype and it is about 15 square meters inside, it is about two and a half meters wide and two and a half meters tall.
  • OPod’s tube house design is based on a simple approach of using simple materials to get the best out of the space and all of this furniture be made out of recycled material from the other construction sites.
  • Opod tube house living room is organized around the sofa bed which is able to be folded out into a bed but then closed off into a sofa with some storage below and then a series of customized shelving and plugs for people to put their own possessions here so the shelving system is clever reuse of scaffolding from site.
Opod Detail
Opod Detail (source: http://www.jameslawcybertecture.com/?id=1087&section=projects)
  • the main support is actually made out of cut scaffolding tubes which have been sprayed black and then basically these shelves themselves had leftover timber panels which were again sprayed yellow got a recyclable bamboo floorboard system which creates a flat area of the flat. the lighting’s also very simple inside but also very effective.
  • what we do is we’ve just taken some fluorescent tubes and we use it to bounce the light from the ceiling of the OPod tube house to create a kind of wider more spacial effect otherwise we just have some LED lighting under the shelves to accent the things which are placed on display.
  • the kitchen of the Opod tube house is actually a very very small space towards the back of the OPod it is just made out of a basin a fridge and a microwave as a kind of story behind the OPod.
  • it was very much designed for young people and James law thinks that young people don’t cook very much these days they just reheat.
  • the bathroom is right at the back of the unit and basically it’s a room which has a toilet and a shower in the same space.
  • The architect encourages people to open the windows at the front to open the door and at the back of the OPod. There’s also a very big large openable window in Opod house which has nice air coming through the front and the back and really maximize on any cross ventilation.
  • The whole opod tube house comes in at about 150,000 HKD, now this is about one-fifth the cost it takes to build a conventional apartment of the same size in Hong Kong

in the future, we must experiment more with the materials that we build and I think as architects we must become more creative and bold in proposing new design solutions that bring the best of a city and solves some of the problems inherent to a city.

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