This week we are taking a peek into the One Sqm House, officially the smallest house in the world, which was ever created.
The One Sqm House is the conception of Van Bo Le-Mentzel, a Berliner and architect, and also a Berlin based Lab member, the psychologist and artist Corinne Rose. Having a particular focus on the notion that, home is where you feel at home, both Le-Mentzel and Rose tried to address their belief within the urban city context.
Le-Metnzel is a Laos native, who has spent most time of his life as a refuge living on social buildings and depending on social subsidies, while exploring the original notion of ‘home’. Today, it seems that the One Sqm House reflects on how he has finally defined it. We paraphrase him: ‘the One Sqm House is not design it is quality of life’.
In short, everything began on Sunday, July the 8th, when Van Bo and Corinne teamed up with an overwhelming number of Berlin-dwellers for a one-day-workshop to build aprototype of the One Sqm House in order to test its potentialities. The workshop was ongoing until the 29th of July and after that period; the participants could pick up their houses and take it over from there. The Lab for those not being able to afford the supplies (250 Euros in materials) offered a ‘karma deal’: ‘to build their own One Sqm House and then, rent it for free to the Lab which would host homeless and/or low income visitors’.
The project encloses an open source of plan instructions that can be found on http://www.facebook.com/hartzIVmoebel
The One Sqm House is just 70 cm x 100 cm, 2 meters high, similar to an upside down London telephone booth. It contains a window, a door, and comes with a mattress. Some of its extras are the cooking plates on the outside wall, and also, the wheels, which make it remarkably mobile.
The One Sqm House is successfully compared to ‘one square of freedom’. The dweller of this tiny house can choose of his view of preference as well as his neighborof fondness. A cozy, wooden house that fits amidst everywhere, might also bring a shift to the problem of the lack of spaces in big cities. In addition to that, it can serve for disposable architecture, creating a temporary city life, nevertheless giving the possibility for huge life changes in just one square meters of space.
Setting the ground for other exchanges too, the One Sqm House initiative is not going to stop within the borders of Berlin. Further aiming in an exploration route along different cities to therefore, grow a global village of tiny houses!
In the meantime, the lab makes the homes to be rented on Air BnB. Its minimalist design is delightfully straightforward. Functionally - it’s either perfect for sustainable tourism rentals or work well with your lifestyle, if a modern hippy alike. Living in a home you built yourself sounds like it could be really invigorating after all!
Below: Design architect: Atelier Bow-Wow Exterior view
Words: Maria Passarivaki
Photos: Luke Abiol
© 2012 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
BMW Guggenheim Lab
Van Bo Le-Mentzel and Lab visitor Program:
One-Sqm-House: Build the smallest house in the world!
Sunday, July 8, 2012