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. Equity

    Ben Carson Is a YIMBY Now and Everything's Confusing

    The HUD secretary's new attempt to roll back an Obama-era fair-housing rule has him wading into battle against exclusionary zoning.

  2. Illustration of a house with separate activities taking place in different rooms.
    POV

    The Case for Rooms

    It’s time to end the tyranny of open-concept interior design.

  3. Graffiti on a wall reads "Tourist Go Home."
    Life

    The Global Tourism Backlash

    A surge in tourism has led to a backlash in cities where residents feel overrun. How can these cities use tourism to their benefit?

  4. The collapsed Morandi Bridge in the Italian city of Genoa.
    Transportation

    What Brought Down This Bridge in Genoa?

    The disaster has focused attention on the state of infrastructure built during the nation’s postwar boom.

  5. Roselyn Grullon, Amaurys Grullon, and Josue Caceres in front of their shop, Bronx Native on Lincoln Avenue. It is one of the new businesses by Bronx locals hoping to take control of the changes in the borough.
    Equity

    The Bronx: Don’t Call It a Comeback

    These Bronx natives have been here for years. In the midst of rapid gentrification, they say they are taking control and offering the borough cultural experiences that as youngsters, they had to venture downtown to find.