Date
10 December 2016
Chun Wo director Anthony Poon (inset) says even an emperor could find comfort in just a small bed. And that's the principle behind T Plus, which will offer the smallest flats in Hong Kong. Photos: HKEJ, Baidu
Chun Wo director Anthony Poon (inset) says even an emperor could find comfort in just a small bed. And that's the principle behind T Plus, which will offer the smallest flats in Hong Kong. Photos: HKEJ, Baidu

Small is beautiful – but how small can a home get?

Hong Kong builder Chun Wo Property Development is trying to set a new standard for “coziness” in modern living.

It seeks to answer the question: What is the smallest amount of space that could still be considered a home?

The developer is set to launch T Plus in Tuen Mun, its latest residential project that offers studio flats as tiny as 128 square feet.

That could be one for the books.

Chun Wo, a unit of Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. (00711.HK), says the development got its inspiration from the concept of a student dorm. 

Young people, and their parents as well, really don’t mind living in a small place, says Chun Wo director Anthony Poon Chi-choi.

After all, they seldom cook and almost always eat out, so what they need basically is a place to relax, sleep, shower and answer nature’s call.

Poon goes on to suggest that even a Chinese emperor living in a place as big as the Forbidden City found comfort in just a small bed.

It’s like today’s mobile phone, he says. It may be small but it can take you anywhere in the world – and beyond. It’s only limitation is your own imagination.

Nice try, but that’s clearly overdone. No amount of sales talk can hide the fact that it is indeed a very tiny place.

These soon-to-be available units cannot possibly be bigger than student quarters, and we’re not talking yet about the space for basic appliances such as a fridge and a washing machine as well as the closet that you will need for a place to qualify as a modern home.

At 128 sq ft, the flat is smaller than a standard parking lot, which is 134 sq ft, although bigger that the average size of a prison cell at Stanley, which is 85 sq ft.

So those who’ll take up this offer may feel worse than a car, but, hey, count your blessings – you’ll feel better than a prisoner, as some netizens have wisecracked.

Don’t fret. If you put in a bed and other necessary furniture and appliances, you’ll surely feel like a pet.

T Plus beats the record of the smallest home in Hong Kong, held by AVA 62, whose smallest unit on Shanghai Street in Jordan is 152 sq ft.

People may rant and rave at this attempt to further downgrade the local living standards, but for Chun Wo and other smart developers, the smaller the size, the bigger the profit.

Chun Wo is set to offer 356 units at T Plus, with sizes ranging from 128 to 178 sq ft, at an estimated price of HK$1.5 million each.

At that price, a unit costs around HK$10,000 per square foot. To its credit, T Plus is accessible by light rail transit.

Such pricing strategy reminds us of the landlords of subdivided flats. At T Plus, each floor has up to 29 units!

But that’s great. One can proudly say that they have enough neighbors on their floor to form seven mahjong tables. Isn’t that amazing?

Well, that’s Hong Kong. It’s getting smaller, indeed.

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BK/AC/CG

EJ Insight writer

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