Sustain MiniHome on the Move


 We haven't written much about our favourite miniHome recently; it spent the summer as a showroom/pavilion for Toronto's waterfont redevelopment, and has recently moved to a new home downtown. Designer Andy Thomson informs us that he has new partners (Altius Architects) and more secure backing, and is planning a production run for spring 2008 delivery. He also now has sales representatives in Vancouver and San Francisco. More at ::Sustain

Architecture critic John Bentley Mays visited the minihome and liked it: "The finished prototype, which I saw last week, is a handsome composition, in its efficient, no-nonsense way. The layout of the interior is plainly elegant, with a good kitchen equal in amenities to what I have in my condominium apartment, and a queen-sized sleeping loft that frees up circulation on the main floor."


John Bentley Mays concludes:

While more expensive than the usual mass-produced house trailer, the cost of miniHome is far below that of a custom-built cottage or even a very small house. And the numbers are there: Fred Hallahan, an American trailer industry analyst, recently told me that, despite financing headaches, zoning restrictions and entrenched snootiness about trailer park living, about 8.5 million Americans and 360,000 Canadians live in mobile homes. Of this large population, quite a few will likely find miniHome's combination of enhanced comfort, environmental sustainability and affordability to be very attractive.

MiniHome is a bright spot on an otherwise cloudy horizon. Though architects love to design it, prefabricated housing of the more high-end and less portable sort seems to be languishing. Many beautiful designs have come off the drawing board, but, so far, nobody has figured out a way to cut the cost of prefab below that of custom-built housing. MiniHome, on the other hand, seeks a place within the well-established mobile home market, bringing to it a fresh look and the kind of environment mindfulness that more and more consumers nowadays are demanding.::Globe and Mail

Disclosure: This writer was involved in sales and promotion of the miniHome in 2006.