Even in the world of tiny houses, a new concept for micro homes is unbelievably small. When closed, the pop-up house measures just 33 square feet. Open, it’s about 80 square feet, or about half the size of a normal parking space.
“Our goal was to design a living unit as small as possible,” says Tomasz Zabłotny, an architecture student at Gdansk University of Technology in Poland, who created the concept with fellow student Paweł Maszota. “We’ve gone through dozens of projects pursuing this in a variety of ways. We wanted to take a step forward and decided to make a living unit that somehow unfolds.”
When not in use, the house squeezes together so it can easily be stored or transported. When someone moves in, it pulls apart, and folding furniture untucks from the walls. “We wanted see how much space would be needed and how to design its interior to make it fully functional and comfortable,” Zabłotny says. “The project is based on the idea of maximum efficiency with minimum space.”
The designers envision the homes filling abandoned rail yards in cities like Gdansk–areas that are already popular places for artists to work or for events like music festivals, but that don’t have many options for people to live.
“It’s about bringing back to life post industrial areas–there’s more and more of them in many cities and the number of them will definitely increase,” he says. “It could be relatively cheap if you consider the promotion of the area…it can be realized as a temporary project which draws public attention to areas of huge potential.”
The houses sit on unused railway tracks so they can easily be shifted around. “We see them like a sort of transformable housing estate,” Zabłotny says. “The project is not intended to be another romantic idea of moving houses but more like a simple concept for an efficient estate.” In the off-season, extra houses can be removed; before a big event like a festival, more can be added.
The architects plan to build a prototype. “It would be an important input to the recently popular issue of small, smart building,” he says.