Architecture

Living in a box: One man's unusual way to cut rental costs

Living in a box: One man's unu...
The Living Pod is constructed from wood and measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
The Living Pod is constructed from wood and measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
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The interior of the Living Pod includes a fold-down desk, a cushioned backboard, and a light
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The interior of the Living Pod includes a fold-down desk, a cushioned backboard, and a light
The Living Pod is constructed from wood
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The Living Pod is constructed from wood
The Living Pod is constructed from wood and measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
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The Living Pod is constructed from wood and measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
The Living Pod measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
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The Living Pod measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m)
Notwithstanding the lack of privacy and room to stretch, the Living Pod seems to suit Berkowitz's needs
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Notwithstanding the lack of privacy and room to stretch, the Living Pod seems to suit Berkowitz's needs
"Yes, living in a pod is silly," admits Berkowitz. "But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices - the pod is just a solution that works for me.
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"Yes, living in a pod is silly," admits Berkowitz. "But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices - the pod is just a solution that works for me.
The illustrator has decorated the interior with LED lights, while a fan offers a little ventilation
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The illustrator has decorated the interior with LED lights, while a fan offers a little ventilation
We've covered a lot of tiny houses on Gizmag but the Living Pod is probably the first tiny house within a house we've seen
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We've covered a lot of tiny houses on Gizmag but the Living Pod is probably the first tiny house within a house we've seen
Inside the Living Pod
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Inside the Living Pod
Access to the Living Pod is gained via one small door with a curtain across
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Access to the Living Pod is gained via one small door with a curtain across
View gallery - 10 images

When Illustrator Peter Berkowitz found that house rental costs in San Francisco were too expensive for his budget, he did a bit of outside the box thinking (well, technically inside it) and enlisted the help of some handy friends. Together they built a small wooden pod for US$1,300, with Berkowitz then installing the Living Pod in the living room of a pal's house and paying $400 per month in rent.

While we've covered a lot of tiny homes on Gizmag, this is the first tiny home within a living room that we've seen. Though "home" is perhaps a stretch and oversized cabin bed perhaps more applicable. According to the Washington Post, Berkowitz himself derives inspiration from the Japanese Capsule Hotels.

The Living Pod is constructed from wood and measures just 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m), so it's very snug inside. Berkowitz made some effort to ensure the interior layout is as comfortable as possible, though, and it includes a bed, fold-down desk, a cushioned backboard, and a light.

We've no word on whether the $400 rent includes the use of storage and the bathroom in the host's house, but would assume so. There are some other obvious concerns too, such as the relative lack of privacy and the awkwardness when bringing home a guest, but the arrangement seems to suit Berkowitz.

"Yes, living in a pod is silly," admits Berkowitz. "But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices - the pod is just a solution that works for me.
"Yes, living in a pod is silly," admits Berkowitz. "But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices - the pod is just a solution that works for me.

"Yes, living in a pod is silly," says Berkowitz. "But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices – the pod is just a solution that works for me. Many people have apartments with the space/capacity to house another person but choose not to because there isn't an attractive way to do so.

Temporary partitions offer poor privacy, especially in terms of sound. They also tend to ruin whatever room they're in – you're less likely to use your living room if it doubles as a bedroom."

Berkowitz thinks the Living Pod could fill a gap in the market for people like him who need an affordable place to rest their head, or those wanting to rent out some space for a little extra cash. With this in mind, he asks those interested in owning a Living Pod to get in touch with him (via the source link below).

Source: Peter Berkowitz

View gallery - 10 images
14 comments
neilgue
This is already happening in Melbourne Australia. Unscrupulous slum landlords have been cramming 13 or 14 overseas students into crammed into a 2 bedroom apartment. The prize for the most innovative went to the guy who rented out a tent on his balcony. It may work for the guy in the article, but think it through to the obvious conclusion: a great way to exploit people.
Robert Walther
THIS has to be an April Fool's joke. If not what is the advantage over just a curtain and couch bed with folding table?
exodous
I was thinking of doing this exact thing, I added up all the materials and it was about 500 and it probably would have been nicer than his but I'm sure materials cost more in San Fransisco. I wanted to build one because me and my roomates room was small, we studied and slept at different times, and he snored REALLY LOUD. He only had 4 months left after I moved in so I just suffered through it though and the next roomates had the same schedule and didn't snore.
Nik
I suppose it's a step up from a cardboard box on the footpath next to public toilets, but not by much. Surely with the space available in the US, this is just ridiculous.
abc123
I hope it's a joke and if it's not, please dismantle. We have building codes to protect the men and women who respond to emergencies. Having to deal with this when it's dark and smoky could cost a life.
zevulon
yes these are called cage hotels. ten's of thousands of impoverished people live in these illegal and cruel conditions in hong kong. i'm so happy we can celebrate this.
just add a few technological gizmoz to the box and celebrate how lovely it is that humans can be more comfortable in cages being treated like more expensive animals than they were in the past
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275206/Hong-Kongs-metal-cage-homes-How-tens-thousands-live-6ft-2ft-rabbit-hutches.html
Daishi
There needs to be much cheaper housing options for single people like this guy. Sure it's expensive to house large families too but that's a much harder problem to solve.
People who need nothing more than a bed, a computer, and a dresser should have options that aren't thousands of dollars a month for rent. Something like the Japanese cube hotel is probably a little too extreme but a small apartment really doesn't need to be any bigger than a hotel room.
flylowguy
At that size, how about a small RV? Bigger than a sillypod, with a bath and kitchen. Where do you live? Anywhere you are.
GabeCruz
I've got a recently renovated pillow fort in my living room for rent if anyone is interested.
habakak
This is more a political statement than anything. You cannot live in this thing. No way to prepare a meal, no ablutions, no electricity. $400 for this? I would say just renting a room is much better even though it most likely will be costlier. It's a statement, nothing else.