In a bid to ease the plight of the homeless living in Hong Kong and other cities throughout southeast Asia, architectural studio AFFECT-T recently designed the Bamboo Micro-House prototype. The firm proposes that the tiny bamboo dwellings, which can be placed nearby other units to form small communities within Hong Kong's disused industrial buildings, would serve as temporary shelter while the occupants secure more stable and permanent public housing.
Gizmag has featured several low-cost bamboo housing prototypes before, including the Blooming Bamboo home and the Bamboo Lakou vision for Haiti, but the units designed for this project are on a much smaller scale. The two-story prototype unit featured here measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft), while still featuring a living area, kitchenette, bathroom, fold-out dining table, work area, and sleeping quarters. Different sized units can also be combined to form larger areas for things like communal dining, games or education.
The idea is that numerous units could be combined into larger groupings making them suitable for individuals, couples or families. Individual "homes" would have their own water, electricity and waste disposal, while groups of units would share cooling, heating and be protected from the elements by the larger industrial structure in which they are located. The modularity of the transitional housing system would also allow the number of units to grow and shrink with demand.
AFFECT-T says the units would be constructed quickly and cheaply using local materials, with the pattern of the curved rattan pieces linking the walls and ceiling able to be varied to provide more or less ventilation and privacy as required. Such housing would be an improvement for the more than 280,000 people AFFECT-T estimates are currently living on the streets of Hong Kong without a permanent home.
There are also other designs slated for construction, including larger units and one suitable for disabled people.
The prototype Bamboo Micro-House can be viewed at an interactive display at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale exhibition.