Friday, July 11, 2008


We Make Money Not Art - Richard Horden asked his architecture students at both the Technical University of Munich and the Tokyo Institute of Technology to produce designs for a 2.65m [8.6 feet] cubed living space. Their Micro-Compact Home is a lightweight, transportable minimal dwelling inspired by Japanese tea houses, the Smart car and first class air travel. Prototype units will now be used to create a village on the Technical University of Munich campus.

The homes, each costing around E50,000, will be constructed in a factory as complete cubes and transported to the site where they will be craned onto an aluminum triangular-shaped sub-frame. The cube will "touch the ground lightly" and allow nature to flow beneath the structure unimpeded.

The homes’ layout is divided into distinct zones. A compact area for the shower and WC, with the kitchen separated by a sliding door. On the central axis is the entrance and kitchen circulation area, which also serves as seating for up to five people round a sunken dining area. An overhead double bed can be folded up out of the way while the dining area can be tranformed into a second sleeping space.

The dwelling integrates state-of-the-art technology including a sound system, flat screen TV, and temperature controls. It requires no furniture and all storage space is cleverly concealed and integrated into the dwelling.

Horden anticipates that the units will only have a life cycle of five to 10 years and he hopes that the construction materials will be recycled or re-used.