Comments update: "Housing isn't an architectural problem"
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OPod by James Law Architects

"Housing isn't an architectural problem, it's a policy problem"

Readers debate global housing issues in this week's comments update, in response to a proposal by James Law Cybertecture for stackable micro homes in Hong Kong.

Put that in your pipe: readers don't think the OPod Tube Housing concept, which would see 2.5-metre-wide concrete water pipes transformed into low-cost apartments, offers the answer to Hong Kong's affordable housing problems.

Ryan Gadz had a bone to pick with the design choices: "Make micro apartments even smaller by wasting the space between units and overly thick concrete with no shared walls? I guess it's good for soundproofing."

"A cylindrical space wastes a lot of volumes. For occupants, I'm certain every inch of space would count," agreed Distiller.

Eric felt the designer was fighting a losing battle: "The biggest factor in the housing prices of Hong Kong or other high-cost cities is the value of land, which no amount of architectural creativity can solve."

"The housing problem isn't an architectural problem. It's a planning and policy problem," stated NYCBK123, simply.

"Can't architects stop promoting inhuman habitations just frankly to serve those in the top 0.1%?" fumed Vincent Ip

"The question we should ask ourselves is why is there a housing crisis, rather than trying to make people live in smaller and smaller 'apartments'," reflected Hanna Hais.

"The matching question is why almost no-one is prepared to discuss the stupidity of people having more than two children in an age of climate change and access to reliable contraception," responded HHGeek.

This reader felt their own tiny home was a better solution:

Would you live in a micro home constructed from a concrete tube? Have your say in our comments section ›


Boris bridge: news that UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, an advocator for Brexit, had proposed a bridge to connect the UK to France to the French government was met with ridicule and shock by readers.

"Funny idea to come from a country that's desperate to sever as many ties as possible to the continent," sighed Bunkermentality.

"Perhaps another Heatherwick commission?" joked Z-Dog, in reference to Johnson's failed Garden Bridge project in London.

"I suppose he expects France to pay for it?" wrote Keith Dougal, comparing the idea to Donald Trump's border wall.

"Johnson only made this comment to distract from the fact that Macron had just said that the UK will not get special access for financial services to the EU, making Brexit financially disastrous for the UK," explained Nick.

But HughAdd was willing to give Boris a chance on this one: "I'm no fan of Johnson's, but this is really a great idea which would help to resolve some of the difficulties regarding Ferry and Channel Tunnel customs."

This reader thought there may be an undiscovered medical condition to blame:

Read the comments on this story ›


Identity politics: a new brand identity for Russia's tourist board, which references the graphic style of suprematist artworks, brought out reader's political side this week.

Trent wasn't sold on the design, or the country: "Now that they have a lovely logo, let's see them work on their human-rights record."

"Russia successfully keeps 'borrowing' its history and identity from the countries it used to colonise," added Qael.

AmyE was happy to just focus on the aesthetics: "Aside from the politics, I think this is really visually striking and the use with photos really works. Hats off to the designers."

One reader also felt that the logo failed to address Russia's recent history.

Read the comments on this story ›


Ahead of the curve: Pezo Von Ellrichshausen's recently completed semi-circular house perched on a hilltop on Chile's Chiloe Island, left commenters delighted this week.

"Finally, a home that isn't designed for aquarium fish, and a wonderful curved expression that Corbusier and Niemeyer would happily approve," gushed an impressed Duckusucker.

"This is just perfect but this project didn't come out of the blue. All Pezo Von Ellrichschausen projects have an obsessive research on "geometry" and connections between spaces," revealed Mik.

"These guys remain at the top of their game," wrote an approving Threefloatingorbs.

One reader was still demanding more:

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