In an innovative response to the current property squeeze in China, a Beijing architectural and a design firm have combined creative forces to develop a portable house and garden on the back of a tricycle.
The Tricycle House and Garden is a sustainable mobile home with its design and construction inspired by the shape and movement of an accordion. The playful designed is also being described as the “adult cardboard box fort box.”
The People’s Architecture Office (PAO) and People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) in Beijing developed the clever modular home as a single-person dwelling for those who wish to live in the city but simply cannot afford it due to increasing property prices.
According to the designers, “the inability to own land is a fundamental condition in China unique from many western countries. The Tricycle House suggests a future where the temporary relationship and the public nature between people the land they occupy is embraced.”
The home is constructed from polypropylene, a lightweight but strong, wear-resistant plastic. The plastic also acts as a lighting source due to its translucency, obtaining its light from the sun by day and from streetlights at night.
The flexible material can conveniently fold into various configurations designed to transform a bed to a dining table quite effortlessly.
The portable house also includes such general home amenities as a stove, sink, bathtub and water tank, along with a garden where residents can grow flowers, vegetables and add a touch of greenery to their homes.
With China’s land owned by the state, the house and garden would be human powered and run completely “off the grid.”
For a little extra space, the Tricycle Home can be connected to other Tricycle Homes and Gardens to expand the living space and create green spaces among friends and the community.
Due to a rapid rise in urbanisation, people are moving from the country to the city. According to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2012, China is home to more than 1.3 billion people, more than half of whom live in urban centres. They estimate that by 2030, the latter figure will rise to 75 per cent.
While urbanisation is supporting China’s economic growth, it has reduced the affordability and possibility to live in these areas where property prices are at a premium.
The Tricycle House and Garden could be a small solution to a China’s large population problem.