The micro compact home is a high quality compact dwelling for one or two people. Its neat dimensions of a 2.66m cube adapt it to a variety of sites and circumstances, and its functioning sleeping, working/dining, cooking and bath spaces make it suitable for everyday use.
The Micro-compact Home
The m-ch is the outcome of a research project at Technical University Munich to design a 2.6m cube dwelling. The project was initiated by Prof. Richard Horden with his team of students and assistants in 2001 and as of 2011, there have been over 15 built and installed.
The team of researchers and designers based in London and at the Technical University in Munich developed the m-ch as an answer to an increasing demand for short stay living accommodation for students, business people, sports and leisure use and for weekenders. The m-ch, now in use and available throughout Europe, combines techniques for high quality compact ‘living’ spaces deployed in aircraft, yachts, cars, and micro apartments. Its design has been informed by the classic scale and order of a Japanese teahouse, combined with advanced concepts and technologies. Living in an m-ch means focusing on the essential – less is more. The use of progressive materials complements the sleek design. Quality of design, touch and use are the key objectives for the micro compact home team for ‘short stay smart living’.
The Micro-compact Home may be arranged as a single unit raised above the ground on a light aluminium frame and placed in a garden for private use. its compact dimensions make it easily integrated with shrubs and trees.
Inside the m-ch features:
• Two compact double beds, each measuring 198cm x 107cm, with covered cushions.
• Storage space for bedding and cleaning equipment.
• Sliding table measuring 105cm x 65cm, for dining for up to five people.
• Flat screen television in the living/dining space
• Shower and toilet cubicle
• Kitchen area fitted with electrical points and featuring a double hob, sink and extending tap, microwave, fridge and freezer units, three compartment waste unit, storage shelves, cutlery drawers with gentle return sprung slides and double level work surfaces.
• Air conditioning, water heating, fire alarm and smoke detectors.
• Thermostat controlled ducted warm air heating or electric under floor are available alternatives.
Micro-compact Home may be grouped in horizontal or vertical arrangements in compact clusters, or form larger villages for social or student accommodation or for short-stay business or leisure uses.
The 02 Student Village:
above: The o2 Student Village in Munch is a village of seven micro-compact homes, sponsored by international telecoms company O2 Germany, was built at the Technical University Munich. Each 2.65m cube features high technology, including broadband and standard internet links a plasma screen and high quality kitchen and bathroom appliances, some provided by co-sponsors, Siemens.
Spin-offs include the Tree Village, the Golden Cube, low e-home and snowboard village, all of which demonstrate how the basic concept can be adapted for a number of uses, environments and cultures.
The m-ch has a timber frame structure with anodised or polyester powder coated aluminium external cladding finishes, insulated with polyurethane foam and fitted with aluminium frame double glazed windows and front door with security double lock; graphics can be applied for sponsors, exhibition and business use.
The m-ch measures 266cm x 266cm x 266cm. The ceiling height is 198cm and the door width is 60cm.
Price (subject to change) is 38,000 EUR ($52,405.80 USD)
The quoted price is for a single unit and frame and does not include delivery, installation and connection to services, consultant’s fees and taxes. Subject to site conditions the inclusive guide price is 50,000-90,000 EUR depending on the landscape fees and infrastructure.
In special cases such as helicopter delivery an aluminium frame is used. Approximately 30% of the weight of a standard micro home (2.2 tons approx. the same as a Bentley Continental) is plywood and timber framing.
While the micro homes are being assembled, the site is prepared with services, simple pad foundations, pathways and planting. Immediately before truck delivery of the 2.6m cube the aluminium subframe is installed on site and the micro home is usually lifted into place using a portable crane which minimizes damage to the landscape.
As of January 2011 there have been fifteen micro compact homes built. Installations have been made for The Museum of Modern Art in New York, UBS Bank in Zurich Switzerland, O2 Telecom in Germany and for various private clients with sites overlooking Lake Zurich and now planned for Lake Maggiore near Ascona and at Millbrook in New York State.
Wanna buy one?
m-ch units are available to purchase for delivery to geographical Europe at a guide price of EUR 38,000 (subject to contract). This price includes all interior fittings. Subject to site conditions, the price excludes delivery, installation, connection to services, consultant’s fees and taxes.
The m-ch is delivered from their production center in Austria and they advise an average of 8-10 weeks delivery from the date of order.
micro-compact home ltd. is managed by director, Prof. Richard Horden, who is also chairman of the architectural practice in London, Horden Cherry Lee Architects.
For complete credits of everyone involved in the project, research, design and production, go here.