Oootopia: An Alternative Dwelling for Millennials
Groundwork, Architects and Associates
Hong Kong is famous for its sky-high property prices. Everyone except the elites are suffering. Millennials suffer the most, and some of them contemplate leaving Hong Kong for good. Contrary to the popularised stereotype, research by Groundwork Architects and Associates reveals that most millennials (23-to-35 year olds) do work hard. And millennials who are ascertaining a certain degree of success in life, both locals and expats, are craving for individuality and private space.
These young and passionate souls needed both private and shared spaces; private spaces so that they may better galvanise their ideas, and shared space so that they may learn from each other and create opportunities. What Hong Kong fails to provide is quality private dwellings. Between 2014 and 2018 there has been an influx of co-living/dormitory spaces in Hong Kong (i.e. a bunkbed space with shared toilets and bathrooms). Each of these bed spaces costs around 1,000 USD. Oootopia provides quality, small serviced apartments with ensuites for 1,300 USD.
Groundwork is not only the architect of Oootopia; it is also the brand builder, operator, illustrator and market researcher, being responsible for the property’s market positioning strategy. The aim was to create ideal transitional living spaces for a clan of socially conscious individuals who are adventurous, ambitious, curious and compassionate.
Oootopia is fitted with a common ‘living room’, which is essentially a chill-out space with a large kitchen. Tenants may also meet each other online to organise activities through the Oootopian app. Tenants can choose the services they need (e.g. daily laundry or refuse collection). Infra-red motion detectors are fitted in every room to turn off appliances when the resident leaves. Electrical appliances can also be controlled by the Oootopian app. Recycling is encouraged, with one recycling bin for every five rooms. Furniture doubles as storage space and elements such as extra pillows support the use of mobile devices.
Photography: Fiona Bao and South Ho.