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A project by Architeam
Young man builds egg shaped dwelling in Beijing as his home
07/12/2010
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Dai Haifei (戴海飞), 24 years old form Hunan province, built and placed an egg shaped small house in a courtyard in Beijing, as his home. Inspired by his company’s design, Dai Haifei built the “egg” house with bamboo and it only cost him 6,427 yuan. Now he has been living in it for almost 2 month, rent free. The following is his diary on Douban describing how he builds the egg house.

My father works at a construction site; mother is a cleaner of a company. Now they are older and their physical conditions are not as good as before. I tried many times to convince them to go back home to the countryside to farm a few acres of land to live an easy life, stop running around already. They said they wanted to save money for me to buy a house to get married in. But they don’t know in order to buy a home in Beijing with their salary will take 2-3 hundred years. I want to have a home of my own, no need to be too big, as long as it shelters me from the sun and the rain. Do not want to live like ants in the remote corners of the city, do not want to give hard-earned wages to the landlord, do not want to spend three hours each day on the crowded bus, but facing the reality of high home prices, all hopes are fading.

In 2009 when I was interning for Standard Architecture, I was honored to participate in “egg of the city” (城市下的蛋) design project. “Egg of the city” series includes KTV house (already completed), Bench house (already completed), small shop house, fruit stand house, recycler house, message pallor house, backpackers house… “Egg of the city” series provides movable small homes for struggling group of people in the city, the home is also a tool for them to make a living. The green plants on the surface of the house become urban landscape. After my internship at Standard Architecture, I went back to school to finish up my graduation design, but the idea of building a house for myself was lingering in my mind. After graduation, I talked to my teacher Tang Doudou about my ideas, he was very supportive and found a few friends to help out with my work. Later I also got the finical support from my cousin, then the building work was officially started. We worked from July to September for two whole months, not counting labor, material costs are as follows:

Wheels 160
Rope ties 125
Grinder 31
Water tank, pump 95
Steel 573
Drills 18
Bamboo 375
Tools 210
Glue 200
Waterproof fabrics 508
Solar Panels 970
Square rods 30
Screws 115
Paint 284
Welders 260
Spray gun 450
Gauze 600
Insulation 100
Grass seeds 110
Energy-saving lamps 36
Air support 50
Plexiglass 160
Washbasin 60
Steel mesh 240

After the house was built, shipping it from Hunan to Beijing cost 3500 yuan, so with less than ten thousand I got my own house in Beijing.

When the house arrived in Beijing I put it under the building of my company. I already lived in it for over a month. I can get to work within seconds, no need to be on the crowded bus. This is considered a luxury in the traffic congested Beijing. I used the money I saved up from not paying rent to pay for an annual pass of a swimming gym, so I can go swimming, also take showers and go to sauna there. I don’t have a kitchen in the house, so I became a frequent visitor of the local restaurants around work. No need to make meals also saved me a lot of time. In the weekends, I can go the local coffee shops with a book or I can ride my bike around the neighborhood alleys. When the house is simplified to just one bed, other than sleeping in it, other things are taken care of in public places, this is a free lifestyle.

Source: http://www.chinahush.com/2010/12/01