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Could you live in OFIS’s 30m² micro-home?


Architects and engineers have teamed up to install a compact living unit in an east London courtyard in a bid to spark debate about micro-living in the city

Shoreditch-based engineering firm AKT II and Slovenian architects OFIS Arhitekti have installed the prototype unit in Old Street Yard, behind AHMM’s White Collar Factory.

The unit, comprising three 10m² modules, will be exhibited for a month from 10 September, with visitors able to explore the compact interior and ‘get a taste for sustainable, small-scale living’, according to AKT II.

Made of timber frames reinforced by plywood boards, the unit is designed for two people with double bed, wardrobe, table and chairs and the possibility to install a bathroom and kitchenette. 

Micro-homes are on the rise in London – 8,000 are being built in the capital each year, according to OFIS’s research – but many have questioned whether they are the solution to the capital’s housing crisis, or part of the problem.

With a total area of 30m², the Living Unit would comes in under the minimum space standard of 37m² set by the government, but OFIS’s Spela Videcnik said the aim of installation was to encourage discussion on micro-homes.

She said: ’As the capital’s population increases, can innovative temporary space-saving solutions offer a pragmatic approach for those who prioritise location over space?’

Micro home living unit ofis under construction

Micro home living unit ofis under construction

According to OFIS, an effective way of reducing housing costs would be to design ’smaller volumes to live in, cheaper ways of constructing and, most radically, rid the idea that a home has to be permanent’.

The Living Unit, previously exhibited in Milan and at Slovenia’s Ljubljana Castle, was born out of a larger research initiative into the challenges of building under ‘extreme conditions’ such as rising costs of land in London.

In addition to the exhibition, which is part of London Design Week, a discussion on micro-living will take place at AKT II’s office in the White Collar Factory on 17 September, with a panel of built environment professionals and leading commentators.

At the end of the exhibition, the Architecture Foundation will find a new home for the Living Unit .

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Readers' comments (11)

  • There is almost unlimited space underground. Surely we could make better use of land by constructing at least part underground.

    Underground facilities are fine for the residents of Belgravia so why not for other people (outside flood plains anyway) ?

    Council planners give a green light to builders to waste land by allowing them to plonk rabbit hutches and executive homes on the surface of the land.

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