Chinese Architect Builds Egg House on Sidewalk to Escape Insane Rents

A young architect in Beijing can't afford housing in his own city, so he designed an egg-shaped pod to sleep in on the street.

Beijing's architecture is a scene of extremes: on one end are Rem Koolhaas's multibillion-dollar structures; on the other, Dai Haifei's $964 sleep-pod — which the 24-year-old architect built because he couldn't even afford to live in the city he helps shape.

[Image via Getty, for use by Co.Design]

Haifei was inspired to design and build his egg-shaped domicile after seeing a conceptual project called "City's Egg" at the 2010 Shanghai Biennale Exhibition. "I was impressed by the green-notion of building a house like that, especially in cities like Beijing where rental price for a fresh graduate is a huge burden," Dai told China Daily.

The egg-house's specifications are, of course, spartan at best: two meters high at its tallest point, built on a bamboo frame, insulated with wood chips, and an exterior made of what looks like cut-up sleeping bags. But what the pod lacks in good looks, it makes up for with hardy sustainable design: grass seeds planted in the cladding will sprout into a green covering over the whole structure, and a solar panel provides power for a lamp and handful of electrical necessities inside.

There's room inside for a bed, water tank, and a small night table — only the bare necessities for Haifei, who told China Daily he crashes in the egg after working until midnight at his architecture office. Let's hope what he saves on rent will translate into his creating better options for other price-out Beijing residents in the future.

[Image via Getty, for use by Co.Design]

Add New Comment


  • Alex Zhang

    I suppose the Solar Panels are only enough for the lights... How do you charge your laptop? At Starbucks? Anyway great design looking forward to seeing this wonderful egg on the streets of Beijing

  • Jake

    Make room for a desk and chair as well as the bed and group four or five of them together with a communal bathroom and kitchen and you've got a pretty reasonable setup.

  • Guest

    if you look closely at the top of the picture, you can see the hinge of the door.

  • gues

    See that little flap or door next to the car - I am assuming that is where they are looking in from....

  • Turbonium

    If this were on the streets of a US city, it would be pissed on, bashed in and pillaged nightly.

  • ironoxidedan

    He will have more than egg on his face when an errant cigarette is discarded.I guess having to hold it in all night will give him the confidence that he might be able to put it out.

  • Shanna

    Any clue where this egg is in Beijing? I'd love to check it out the next time I'm there.

  • Image Masking

    Wow so funny and interesting post, extra ordinary idea. Thanks a lot for sharing these nice post with us !!

  • Oktellme

    Err.. could he get a loitering ticket for hanging out permanently on a public sidewalk?