Check out the small, smart houses that appear in England, the United States and Canada.
Most people live in town. That’s how it gets crowded. And where many fight for the place, it often also becomes expensive.
Architects and real estate developers have long been in their heads to come up with alternative housing solutions for the big cities, and the need for smart homes with creative solutions and multifunctional design is increasing rapidly..
Urban villagers would like to have the best of two worlds; housing with space for what they need, preferably with private front door, and within easy reach of all the city’s amenities.
And according to these creative souls, you can actually get both in bag and in sack. No need to move on the land, and do not need your newly built to come from a catalog or look like the neighbor’s.
In the United Kingdom, Dwelle has designed a series of “mini-partnerships” that combine the architecture, interior and furniture design into a habitable package. The prefabricated houses rank in size from the very compact of 7.5 m2, to a bit more “airy” of 24 m2.
The smallest models cost barely more than you have to pay for a car and, like the car, does not take up much more space than a car park.
The smart houses have received a lot of attention and also won the Small House of the Year award at the prestigious British Home Awards in 2010.
– We wanted to find a solution that made it possible to create compact adaptable houses that are both fast-paced, affordable and also fit in almost everywhere, says Richard Frankland at Dwelle.
The solution became “Sheds for Living”, which was later renamed “Dwelle”.
– Housing in the UK is extremely expensive and the possibilities so limited, especially in major cities. We wanted to create a home that could be adapted to people’s different needs.
– The demand for eco houses, home offices, annexes, playrooms and guest rooms is increasing, and we are looking for our “Dwellings” to take on many features that can be changed as needed, Frankland explains to Click. no.
That the homes should have a healthy indoor climate and be as environmentally friendly as possible was an important priority.
– All our models are made to be environmentally friendly, sustainable, have a healthy indoor climate, be quick to put together and, not least, be commendable, Frankland ends.
Environmentally friendly building blocks
On the other side of the Atlantic, MEKA in Canada has developed many of the same ideas as Dwelle.
The Modular Environmental Kinetic Assembly (MEKA) was developed by three friends, a designer, an architect and a property developer, who all wanted to create well-designed, alternative homes that could be manufactured and sold at reasonable prices.
The trio was fully aware that there was already a sea of different types of homes built of containers, which they inspired, but also rejected many ideas that had previously been used for this type of housing.
– We wanted to create luxury homes that were both gentle to the environment, hyperfunctional and that came with a price tag that made them reachable to many, says Michael de Jong at MEKA to Click. no.
There has been no need for attention for MEKA after one of their newly developed cottages was set up in the middle of New York’s trendy neighborhood, West Village.
The MEKA ALP320, as the model name is, is almost 30 m2, is made of a shipping container and consists of 70 percent recycled material.
With exterior in natural bamboo and cedar, the designers Christos Marcopoulous and Jason Halter have created the house everyone talks about in one of the world’s hippest districts.
In Toronto, Canada, another solution has been attempted for the city’s space and price problems.
In the neighborhood of Tiny Town, all the houses are tiny, but both functional and habitable in every way.
The small house of about 53 square meters has attracted much attention.
Architect Andrew Reeves at LineBox, one of Toronto’s most renowned architectural firms, helped create Mini House and tells:
It was wonderful to help create a home that might be so defined by the surroundings. The plots in this neighborhood are all very small, so the house must fit both physically and aesthetically.
The owner of the house, a dedicated minimalist who only owns a handful of clothes and sleeps on a yoga mat, could not be more pleased with his new home.
– I dreamed of a home that was totally stripped of decor and decor, almost industrial in style and suited my simple lifestyle. This little mini-house is all that, and at the top very environmentally friendly, Patrick Flynn tells about his tiny little concrete house in the middle of the city.
In London, Container City has taken the stage even further and not only produced single-hull containers, but entire towns.
The first original Container City was built and installed in five months in 2001. The building is four floors tall and houses both studios and homes.
Urban Space Management, the owner of the project and the Container City Modular System, believes that containers are perfect for making homes of.
– Firstly, it’s environmentally friendly, because we’re talking about recycling old ship containers, and secondly, it’s very quick to assemble because the modules you’re building with are already done, explains Eric Reynolds in Urban Space Management.
Shipping containers are linked to solid prefabricated steel modules that can be combined into an almost infinite variety of buildings and can be adapted to both private and commercial needs. Modular technology means that construction processes and costs are significantly reduced and are significantly more environmentally friendly.
Up to now, offices, youth centers, kindergartens and private homes have been built in England.
Container House in Norway
In Norway, the architectural firm MMW architects of Norway has also been groundbreaking with its use of containers in construction projects.
As far back as 1998, architect Magne Magler Wig created a showroom of two containers for the Momentum Festival in Moss.
Since then, he has used containers in several projects, including the GAD Gallery in Oslo, where ten standard steel containers form the basis for the project.
The idea was that it should be a semi-temporary gallery that can easily be demounted and moved to alternative places as needed and demand. The idea behind the use of containers is that it is first and foremost sustainable, says the architect of Click. no.
– Here you use residual materials.
That this is also a flexible way of building, believes the architect is positive.
– If a container building needs to be removed, it does not need to be discarded – it can be moved with all inventory and used elsewhere. So here we are really talking about recycling.
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