Micro-apartments on the rise in Hong Kong

It’s no secret that Hong Kong’s hot housing market has created a demand for tiny apartments, but the size of the apartments have been shrinking, with some only a little bigger than a parking space in New York City (144 square feet).

These apartments, nicknamed cubicle homes, micro flats, nano apartments, coffin homes, and gnat flats, are gaining popularity, if not with renters, at least with developers.

Last year, developers built 206 apartments smaller than 215 square feet, up from 75 in 2015 and none in 2012, reported the AP. This year, over 5,000 are expected to be built under 430 square feet.

Hong Kongers, like many who live in big cities, have had to get creative with their precious little space.

Donny Chan, who has a 193-square-foot apartment in a high-rise in Hong Kong, has created a bed frame from a row of boxes that serves as a bedframe and extra storage space. His kitchen sink has a lid that covers it to provide extra counter space when he needs it, although he said he doesn’t cook, so it’s not much of a benefit.

Andy Knight’s 309-square-foot microflat has floor panels that lift up to reveal extra storage underneath. The bathtub is hidden behind the couch and can double as extra seating when guests come over. Something that looks like a wall panel pulls out to reveal an entertainment center with a large, flatscreen TV in it. He said he and his wife bought the apartment because it was only marginally smaller than some of the other apartments they were looking at, and even with the renovations, the cost was less.

Architects Yannis Chan and Derek Lau came up with a design that allows private apartments to open up into public spaces. They showed the AP an example of a bookcase that swings out to reveal a common area behind it, which they call an “openable boundary.”

“By merging the private space and the public space we can actually share a common area with our neighbors or we can invite guests to come play with us,” Lau told the AP.

They showed off a desk and dining table that can fold into the wall when not needed and steps up to the bed over the bathroom have drawers built into them.

With Hong Kong’s housing prices continually rising and the cost of living among the highest in the world, these type of space-saving designs may become the norm for the Chinese city.

Unlike the tiny house movement in the United States and other developed countries though, living small and efficient in Hong Kong isn’t usually a choice.

 

By NTD Staff

By Epoch Times Staff

 
 
 
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