Daniela Kleint

An architect designs a one square meter home that you can sit, stand, even sleep in.

What are the limits of architecture? Those same limits that define the home, which, as the world’s smallest house proves, need not be greater than one square meter. Designed by Van Bo Le-Metnzel, a native of Laos and one time refugee, the “One-Square-Meter House” was inspired by his personal history and those experiences that led him to explore the architecture of home.

The house is easy to assemble and can be fabricated using everyday materials from the local hardware store. Yet despite its humble stature and simple fame, the structure is surprisingly flexible: when positioned upright, there is sufficient room for the (sole) user to stand or sit at a desk to read or stare out into the landscape beyond. Tilted on its side, the house becomes a sleeping capsule, with the inside face of the tiny gable folding up to support the user’s reclined body. The "hut" was designed to be used indoors or outdoors and whose exact function is never fixed to any place or time (the house is fixed with wheels, which makes it entirely mobile and easy to roll away). It can take the form of a study, office, doghouse, or even an spare bedroom.


Le-Metnzel, architect and founder of Hartz IV Möbel, conceived of the diminutive house in collaboration with Corinne Rose of Berlin’s BMW Guggenheim Lab, which recently hosted a workshop to encourage Berliners to take part in the production of these new homes. The prototype is currently in production, with duo hoping to market the pods on a global scale.

The Lab ends its Berlin run on July 29th, but before then it will make the homes available to students and travelers for a mere €1/night, and can be rented on Air BnB. Afterward, the project will go on a six year tour around the world, with stops in Mumbai and New York City to bring the 1-square-meter revolution to an overcrowded world.

Photo credit: Daniela Kleint

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    How Toronto Turned an Airport Rail Failure Into a Commuter Asset

    The Union Pearson Express launched with expensive rides and low ridership. Now, with fares slashed in half and a light rail connection in the works, it’s a legitimate transit alternative for workers.

  2. Transportation

    The Automotive Liberation of Paris

    The city has waged a remarkably successful effort to get cars off its streets and reclaim walkable space. But it didn’t happen overnight.

  3. Two different Eiffel Towers rise above manicured lawns. The one on the left is an image from Tianducheng, a city in China, and the one on the right is an image from Paris.
    Photos

    Which One Is Paris?

    Francois Prost’s new photo series looks at Tianducheng, a town built to look exactly like the City of Lights.

  4. Life

    The (Legal) Case Against Bidding Wars Like Amazon's

    The race to win Amazon’s second headquarters has reignited a conversation dating back to the late ‘90s: Should economic incentives be curbed by the federal government? Can they be?

  5. Equity

    Even the Dead Could Not Stay

    An illustrated history of urban renewal in Roanoke, Virginia.