James Law, who heads the eponymous multi-disciplinary design company in Hong Kong, writes about the Alpod project.
High construction costs form part of the reason why people in Hong Kong often fall short of their dream of owning property. Under the theme of “Visions 2050 – Lifestyle and the City”, Alpod, as the futuristic aluminum mobile home designed, engineered, and produced by a team of Hong Kong visionaries, made its debut at the Hong Kong edition of the 2015 Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture last month.
Eric Kwong, managing director of AluHouse, who serves as the driving force behind the Alpod project, says that aluminum’s multi-faceted advantages of being lightweight, strong, corrosion resistant, and impervious to fire and wind as well as its ability to damp noise and insulate against heat, will allow for more than 50 years of sound structural durability.
Aluminum easily adapts to different climates and environments, and its light weight also enhances mobility, allowing a home to be moved from one place to another in an easy and convenient way without dismantling or reconstructing facilities, says Kwong. The metal can also be recycled, making it a green, earth-friendly building material. He points out that today aluminum is widely used in the aerospace industry, the next generation of automobiles, and even the latest smart phones and telecommunication products.
ALPOD can be built as a primary home or suburban cottage for weekend enjoyment, he adds. Moreover, it can be designed for business use such as an office, a mobile shop, a studio, an exhibition venue, or just a space to let your imagination roam free. Kwong envisions that Alpod will facilitate a huge increase in the mobility and flexibility of the next generation of homes.
Designed as a personal and exclusive high-tech pod house, Alpod surrounds its residents with a futuristic interior based on a contemporary, flexible open-plan living space that features advanced environmental controls, a special lighting design, full height glazing, skylights, plus kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Dr. Andy Lee, director of ARUP, also agrees that the Alpod is an unprecedented innovation that is brilliantly engineered to be the next generation of home living. The future even envisions pod houses to be stacked into uniquely designed multi-structures, revolutionising and redefining our perceptions about what architecture should be and how our future city landscape will evolve.
Designed as an aerodynamic monocoque structure with a futuristic aluminum shell, Alpod offers a sleek layout featuring an open plan with no columns. The large sliding glazed windows allow a harmonious nexus of the indoor and outdoor environments, ushering in natural light and air. Alpod’s interior is brilliantly conceived as well with a fitted kitchen and bathrooms, plus all-inclusive air conditioning, power source, and lighting. So it is essentially a ‘plug-and-play’ home.