Straight out of ‘The Fifth Element’
Someone has added a futuristic, more luxurious twist to Hong Kong’s claustrophobia-inducing cage homes, those certainly not-horizontally-challenged flats split into even tinier rooms with metal wires.
Guangzhou-businessman Sandy Wong’s version of the apartments are more akin to Japan’s famous capsule hotels: sleeping pods that feature air-conditioning and LED lighting straight out of “The Fifth Element.”
Wong’s homes address a demand for decent living quarters in Hong Kong, known for ultra-high-density but super-expensive flats. Each pod or capsule costs USD1,289 to produce and is rented out for anywhere between USD361 and USD580 a month, CNN reported.
“These (capsule homes) provide personal space. That’s the selling point,” Wong told CNN. “There’s a lot of demand for this sort of thing. I noticed a gap in the market.”
The flats holding Wong’s capsule homes start from 37 square meters (400 square feet), with 18 capsules to each flat. The largest capsules measure 2 metres (6 feet) long and 1.2 metres (4 feet) wide.
There are now about 108 of these flats around the Chinese SAR.
Wong’s cage homes take inspiration from Japan’s capsule hotels, emulated by travel spaces everywhere from Bangkok to Manila. Capsule hotels in Japan have since grown in size to as large as 28 square metres, a private room good for four people.