The World's Smallest Apartment Gets a Tenant

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capsule apartment beijingEver think about living in a cramped, windowless room with a wire roof? No, not like a battery cage chicken, more like, a 25-year old Chinese woman named Zhang Qi. Her insanely-tiny apartment is just 21 square-feet!

She's the first to move into what the developer is calling a "capsule apartment" -- and what we're calling a "claustrophobe discrimination" lawsuit waiting to happen...

In fact, Zhang is the remaining hold out. Built in April, architect Huang Rixin couldn't find any takers so he opened it up to migrant workers to test out (pictured). One by one they all left. Zhang, who works at an advertising agency, tried it out and decided to stay.

And yes, Zhang's apartment has a chicken wire-like ceiling for air circulation since there are no windows. The space-deficient tenant says she enjoys living in her capsule apartment in Beijing. Go figure!

Have a look...


While these particular tenants couldn't hack it and left, Zhang is holding steady.

She admits, "I was not very adjusted on the first day.... But I am getting use to it!" The apartment holds just a bed and desk. She shares a common bathroom for bathing and toilet use. No kitchen, either: She'll have to eat out.

We know that living small is the next big thing, but, seriously? What does Zhang like about living in an apartment smaller than most middle class American's closets?

For starters, the rent is only $35 a month.

Zhang sends the money she saves living in the capsule apartment back to her widowed mother. She's already helped her mother purchase a home, which in turn she rents out for 1,200 yen (about $160) a month. With that kind of financial discipline and determination we predict she will be a wealthy woman in years to come.

But what about right now?

"This is my own space; you can put up your own photos, feels kind of successful," she told China Hush. "People are born equal; living here does not mean the future will not be good, maybe a lot of artists will appear here!"

In fact, Zhang has decorated her capsule apartment with fabric, photos, and other personal touches. She predicts her friends will think her arrangement pretty "hip," even if we think this will entail inviting them over one at a time.

By comparison, this 66-inch wide London home or any of these DIY shacks are comparatively gargantuan. Are we in the West just spoiled?

Perhaps Zhang is onto something. After all, one appeal of city life is that you can spend so little time at home that all you need is someplace to lay your head at night.

As a friend remarked, "Who cares about apartment size? They're all the same size when your eyes are closed."

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