An architectural trend or a social phenomenon, micro-houses are here to define the growing desire of people to live a slow, simple life with care for nature. Interest in micro-houses has increased significantly over the last few years. For some people this is an opportunity to have a unique architectural masterpiece designed for minimalist and simple living in the environment they choose. For others, it is an opportunity to acquire a mobile holiday home that gives them the opportunity to live in harmony with nature.
The choices regarding design, size, type of construction and amenities in the different micro-homes are numerous.
Muji, the Japanese retailer, is known for marketing a minimal lifestyle. He designed a mass-market micro-home called Muji hut. With its charred, blackened-wood walls, corrugated metal mono-pitch roof and integral terrace, it is clearly a Japanese design, but one restrained and familiar enough to be able to fit in anywhere, from mountains to lakesides, backyards or deserts. With one large sliding door/French window and another much smaller window on the rear wall, it is light, easy to ventilate and gives a surprisingly open feeling. At 9 sq m it is much smaller than it feels — truly a minimal home, but an elegant and simple one.
Estonian designer Kodasema’s micro-home isn’t all that small (25 sq m). With effectively double-height space and one wall entirely glazed, it feels almost like a modernist villa. A very neat design that is probably more of a glamorous shed or guest room than a housing solution.
Manufactured near Copenhagen by Vipp, the Danish retailer famous for its pedal bins, this is a macro micro-home. At 55 sq m, it boasts the floor area of some contemporary non-micro houses but it is conceived in the spirit of a go-anywhere cabin. Its black steel casing makes it look slick and robust. With two entirely glazed walls, the house, elevated above the ground on piloti, is a classy Scandi villa.
The tech version of the tiny home comes, naturally, with its systems and services controlled by a smartphone app. Light, bright and modern inside with an entirely glazed end bay, it is cleverly conceived and well made. Storage is integrated into and below furniture and floors, and a level change makes the interior feel more spacious.
Designed by MAPA, the Brazilian architects, the Minimod house is perhaps the most elegant of all the micro-homes. With an open glass end wall and flip-up shutters revealing huge windows, this one is a real treat. Its interior is lined in figured ply and it features a green, planted roof for extra insulation. Designed to fit easily on the back of a truck, the most minimal and pure of all these houses looks like something any of us might be glad to live in — at least for the weekend.
However, if none of our favorites amongst the micro-houses is your idea of a minimalistic home, feel free to design your own project featuring your personal feeling about aesthetics and beauty. What is important is to carefully consider the context and surroundings of your new micro-home.