Would you live in a drainpipe? To clarify, it's a drainpipe that's been renovated into a micro home. This is just one conceptual idea that's been proposed to help alleviate Hong Kong's housing crisis. The China city has been named the world’s least affordable housing market the past eight years in a row according to an international survey of nearly 300 cities, reports Austin Ramzy for The New York Times.

Ramzy gathered five architectural proposals from architects with an imaginative idea for solving the market constraint. Here are some extreme options:

Living in a Drainpipe
The OPod is two sections of concrete drainpipe joined to create a living space of about 100 square feet. It includes a couch and foldout bed, a desk, shelving, a tiny kitchenette, a hanging closet and a shower. The pods can be stacked up to five high, or placed in small, unused spaces between buildings and under bridges. A prototype is now on display in a waterfront park, but there are no plans yet for commercial production.

Return of the Tenements
Bibliotheque is a pair of buildings that feature slickly designed dormitory-like living spaces with shared kitchens and bathrooms. The rooms are tiny, with about 50 square feet per single unit, and cost from about $450 to $750 a month. The residents are mostly young, drawn by rents that are low by Hong Kong standards.

Building Up (Even More) to the Sky
Half a century ago, when refugees poured into Hong Kong to escape turmoil in mainland China, the city started a public housing program that provides residences, usually in high-rises, for nearly half of the population today. The architect and professor David Erdman has suggested fitting in more people in those same buildings by going even higher, adding cornices of from 5 to 25 stories atop the existing structures, which are already often about 40 stories tall already.

Cruise Ships and Islands
Perhaps the most unconventional idea calls for putting people on cruise liners. The floating community would not be a permanent solution but is instead the first step in a proposal from Doctoral Exchange, a local research group. The second step of the plan is even more ambitious: building several large artificial islands in the sea to the south of Hong Kong. The new, 45-square-mile archipelago would fall outside Hong Kong’s boundaries, meaning it would require backing from China’s central government.

Turning Ports into Towers
Hong Kong’s container port is the world’s fifth-largest by volume. It also sits on an iconic part of the waterfront that the government task force is now looking at to ease the land shortage. Hundreds of thousands of people could live on the port’s 900 acres. One proposal calls for relocating the port to make way for housing. Another calls for keeping the port where it is, while constructing huge platforms above its bustling waterfront cranes on which residential skyscrapers could then be built. Officials call this idea feasible, and the port operator says it is open to the idea, but the cost and levels of public support are still unknown.

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