Lead ArchitectsCarlos Acosta, Rodrigo Alegre
Design TeamTaller Escape, Studioroca
CollaboratorsRaúl García, Olaf Alfaro, Xavier Lorand, Adriana Alvarez, Marco Peralta
¿What would you do with less? Innovative prefabricated housing presents an eco-conscious retreat from city life. -VMD is a newly launched prefabricated housing system that presents a luxurious alternative for living away from the city while minimizing the environmental impact of a new build. In a timespan of just 99 days, this one- or two-bedroom home, made from environmentally responsible materials, can be ready for permanent immersion in a location of choice, with minimal interference to the landscape. It opens up the opportunities for people looking to invest in a weekend residence without the construction, time, hassle and costs associated with building and maintaining an abode.
Ready to order and customize online, -VMD is the brainchild of leading architects Rodrigo Alegre and Carlos Acosta (founders of renowned Mexico City studio STUDIOROCA, the design firm responsible for -VMD’s stylish interior furnishing). The idea came from the duo undertaking a more conscious approach to its general practise in recent years, with a move toward sustainability and a focus on reducing its ecological footprint.
‘It got us asking, “what would you do with less?”,’ Acosta explains of the concept behind -VMD, and the idea of retreating from noisy, polluted, stressful urban centers in order to appreciate Mexico’s unrivalled natural beauty from a prefabricated house that necessitates minimal effort and attention.
‘Homes usually require maintenance and involve a lot of expenses,’ says Acosta, pointing to -VMD’s easy lock-up-and-go design. ‘This is what an “escape” is all about – being free of all those hassles of maintaining a second home but still having a weekend getaway where you really can enjoy your time.’ ‘It has all the basic things you need to live comfortably,’ explains Alegre, ‘with luxurious finishes and fittings, all from eco-conscious suppliers.’ The units are technologically driven, with an interior lighting system and video surveillance that can be controlled remotely. Adding to the upmarket appeal is STUDIOROCA’s curation of furniture – all by Mexican designers – including furniture by: Studioroca, Dorica taller, Taller Luum, Casa Quieta, Futon Tanoshi, José Bermúdez Studio, Mughal, Bandido Studio, Mar Villa y UNION-; el arte es por Diego Hernández (DHB). Alegre states that the greatest luxury, however, is the free time such an abode presents. ‘Time to be in nature, write, read, practice sport, meditate… More time for you.’
-VMD upholds a visionary ethos of sustainability. Utilizing only the space and materials necessary, it celebrates and respects the environment. Prefabricated in a factory, these housing units, made from robust shipping containers, reduce the amount of resources used and waste produced, while eliminating the ecological impact of a construction site. Eco-conscious products were an integral consideration.
Because manufacturing is done by a group of skilled craftsmen in Mexico, houses are constructed with the highest quality standards, taking just over three months from order to delivery, with a week needed for installation on site. The strength and durability of the shipping-container structure allows the units to be placed on any terrain that can provide access to a large trailer and crane, and, as no complex foundations are necessary, minimal building permissions are required, thus eliminating time-consuming construction challenges.