Cities around the world are facing a shortage of attractive housing options that use resources in a responsible, environmentally-positive manner. Looking to solve this challenge, New York-based firm SO-IL has teamed up with car manufacturer MINI to create MINI LIVING – Breathe, a “ forward-thinking interpretation of resource-conscious, shared city living within a compact footprint.
Now on display at the Milan Salone del Mobile 2017, the prototype structure is constructed of a translucent fabric membrane stretched across a modular metal frame that rises vertically from a previously unused 50-square-meter urban plot. Six rooms and a roof garden provide the space for flexible programmatic arrangements, adhering to the MINI LIVING principles of “Creative use of space” and “Minimal footprint.”
“MINI LIVING – Breathe calls into question conventional living concepts and introduces a creative problem-solving approach for future challenges in urban areas,” said Esther Bahne, Head of Brand Strategy and Business Innovation MINI. “The installation shows what happens when we view houses not only as a space in which to live, but as an active part of our environment – one which plays a positive role for the environment and the people living there.”
The ground floor features a kitchen area that invites in visitors and serves as a “spatial and social interface with the area around the installation.” Three stories of living spaces for work and relaxation are located above, with sleeping areas, a potential “wet area” and a roof garden comprising the upper floors.
The architects chose the structure’s light-permeable textile walls that separate spaces to allow people in neighboring rooms to make out silhouettes and movements of their co-habitants, creating a feeling of connectedness without the sacrifice of privacy. The outer skin, too, is translucent to flood interior spaces with daylight, but also features a special coating that purifies the interior environment by filtering and neutralising the air.
“The approach we took with MINI LIVING – Breathe extends far beyond purely a living concept,” explains Oke Hauser, Creative Lead of MINI LIVING. “We view the installation as an active ecosystem, which makes a positive contribution to the lives and experiences of the people who live there and to the urban microclimate, depicted here by the intelligent use of resources essential to life – i.e. air, water and light.”
The MINI LIVING – Breathe installation gives back to its urban context as well through the exterior skin’s purifying coating and the addition to vigorous oxygen-producing plants on the rooftop garden. A rainwater collection system has also been integrated to store and reuse clean water for plumbing purposes. Mobile and adaptable, the structure is able to be disassembled and customized to suit a variety of climates.
“MINI LIVING – Breathe brings its residents into direct contact with their environment. By making living an active experience, the installation encourages visitors to confront our tendency to take resources for granted,” adds Ilias Papageorgiou, Principal at SO – IL.
Photographs courtesy of Laurian Ghinitoiu.
Zaha Hadid Architects has collaborated with Samsung and digital art and design collective Universal Everything to create an immersive technology installation at the 2017 Milan Design Week, taking place this week in the Italian city. Named 'Unconfined,' the pavilion will showcase Samsung 's new Galaxy S8 smartphone by leading visitors through an immersive environment inspired by the device.