House-sharing, micro-apartments and shape-shifting flats have all been mooted as potential future housing solutions. The Alpod mobile home can now be added to that list. Its aluminum structure is strong and light, making it easy to transport and allowing it to be stacked in a modular fashion.
Designed by James Law Cybertecture, in partnership with AluHouse and Arup, the Alpod is a response to the increasing pressure on housing space in cities, and the increasing cost of housing as a result. James Law, Chairman and CEO of James Law Cybertecture, says it gives people the choice of where and how they want to live in a city.
"We believe that a city of the future will be more intelligent and more flexible, making people have better lives in the city," says Law. "We will create this by making a new kind of architecture – an architecture that blends technology and innovation together, creating a greener environment for everyone."
The Alpod measures 13 x 3.3 x 3.3 m (42.7 x 10.8 x 10.8 ft) and covers an area of 43 sq m (480 sq f). Although it is designed for use as a primary home, it is also described as being suitable for use as a suburban cottage, a holiday cabin, an office, an exhibition venue or a mobile shop.
It is suggested that the Alpod could be stacked to create towers in a number of different ways. With the right configuration, individuals Alpods could even be removed from the tower in order to be transported elsewhere, without any problem.
In addition to being easy to transport and stackable, the aluminum monocoque structure of the Alpod creates an open space with no columns. Inside, there is a fitted kitchen and a bathroom.
Large sliding glazed windows and skylights allow for plentiful natural light and air, while the aluminum cavity walls accommodate air conditioning, power and lighting infrastructure. The unit can be powered either via a hook-up to the grid, or via solar panels.
The Alpod is currently being featured in the Hong Kong 2015 Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture at the Kowloon Park and Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre. It is on display until February 28, 2016.
The Alpod was first conceived in August this year and is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2016. Prices will start at HK$500,000 (US$65,000).
The video below provides an overview of the Alpod.