Architecture in a Box

17Feb06

I have an interest in design and architecture. I sometimes would scour the Internet for websites that showcase products and structures that are both functional and are seen as works of art. I always like to see pictures of openings of Apple stores since these stores looks so clean and minimalistic.

Several weeks back, I was channel surfing and a came upon a programme that featured a cube-shaped house. What was fascinating about this was how small the house was. The feature was at its end so I didn’t get much information. All I could remember was that this was some sort of project or initiative and it was somewhere in Europe. I actually thought that it was in the Netherlands. I think I have been listening to Adam Curry way too much. I tried to look it up on the Internet using “cube” “house” and “Netherlands.” The hits weren’t what I wanted.

It was only lately that I chanced upon the website Inhabitat. Inhabitat is “a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.” As far as I can remember I chanced upon Inhabitat when I was reading someone’s blog about environmentally-friendly vehicles and houses. I saw the term “miniHome and I thought I finally found the cube-house that I was looking for. It turned out to be something else. But the link did bring me to Inhabitant of which finally lead me to Micro Compact Home or m-ch. The m-ch measures 2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6 meters and can accomodate one or two people. The tiny cube house is designed around the Japanese tea house, has a folding double bed on the upper level and working and dining area that can fit to up to four or five people. The entrance lobby doubles as a bathroom and drying area for clothes.

Seven students were recruited to take part in the first micro-compact home village experiment, sponsored by O2 of Germany. After living for two months in the m-ch, two complaints were surfaced. First, there was the problem of moistness after bathing, indicating a need for ventilation in the mini-bathroom. Second complaint was about the fire alarm in the kitchen that had to be removed each time a meal was to be prepared because it keeps going off. These are going to be taken into consideration in the next version of the m-ch. I will keep looking for resources on the m-ch.

Rocio Romero aims to deliver affordable high-end modern design for prefab housing. Products include the LV Home and its larger version, the LVL Home.

Other interesting websites: Ding3000, Loftcube, and Golgo73. I’ll add my impressions soon. I’m starting to run on empty.

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