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After Monday’s post on Pensworth, a tornado-resistant concrete behemoth in the Ozarks that, when completed, will be one of the largest private homes in the United States at 72,000 square feet, I thought I’d really take it down a notch today with a look at decidedly more modest digs: a 150-square-foot Hong Kong apartment shared by housewife/grassroots housing activist, Yang Lianchun, her husband, and their two children.
In the past when I've featured shoebox-sized dwellings, there’s often been something nifty/innovative about them. Case in point is “The Domestic Transformer,” Hong Kong-based architect Gary Chang’s 330-square-foot, 24-room apartment. Additionally, many, like the EDGE in Wisconsin, have been deliberately petite prefab vacation retreats and cabins. Either that or the inhabitants are living happily (and willingly) on a full-time basis in confined quarters as some sort of grand statement/experiment in downsized/clutter-free living. This is the case with the Debra and Gary Jordan, a couple residing in a 320-square-foot shotgun-style shack in Arkansas with their 13-year-old son.
There’s nothing really nifty/innovative, vacation-y, or happy about Yang’s living situation. She’s candid about the obvious hardships — including sleeping on the floor and squabbling with her husband — that come with living in such a cramped space. And she’s not alone.
According to the Wall Street Journal, apartments subdivided into minscule rental units (“cage” and “coffin” units are as small as 30 square feet) are not entirely new in overcrowded Hong Kong where housing costs continue to rise — average home prices have jumped 76 percent since 2008 — and the city’s priced-out working classes continue to squeeze into increasingly smaller living spaces.
And in case you were wondering, about 480 apartments like Yang's $481/per month Kowloon rental could fit into Pensmore.
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