Abstract We present a new design of a wire gas detector referred to as the gas pixel chamber. Several prototypes with cell sizes of 10 × 10, 8 × 8 and 6 × 6 mm 2 have been built and successfully tested at ITEP, Moscow. These chambers are capable of working at very high intensities, higher than 10 5 particles/cm 2/s, with an efficiency above 99% and with a drift time less of than 80 ns even for the largest cell size of 10 × 10 mm 2. The chamber can be built with a thickness of less than 1% of a radiation length. Gas pixel chambers are proposed to be used in the inner parts of the muon system and the high- p t trigger system of the HERA-B experiment at DESY.