Striking 160 sq. ft. Urban Cabin features hidden hanging garden

MINI Living / FreelandBuck
© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

In response to a growing crisis of unaffordable housing, many are trying out alternatives such as micro-housing or different models of homeownership.

In Los Angeles, this small rooftop Urban Cabin was designed by FreelandBuck as part of the MINI Living series, which explores how micro-housing can be adapted to local climates and inclinations. Inspired by the warm, sunny climate of California, the visually striking Urban Cabin incorporates two living areas on either end, which are connected by a breezeway.

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck
Likening its exterior skin of bold graphics to a movie set, it lends an element of two- to three-dimensional play to the 160-square-foot (14 square metres) home, the designers say:

Two nested boxes constructed with aluminium framing are wrapped in translucent polycarbonate printed with the image of a third box that appears to be projected through the structure. The three-dimensional graphic surfaces vary between graphic alignment and kaleidoscopic effects as one moves around and through them.

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

At one of the home is the bedroom, which features pegboard-like walls that let in a patterning of daylight in. Parts of the wall can flip down to transform into a multipurpose table. Best of all, the bed itself can slide out and through the wall, allowing occupants to sleep under the night sky.

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

The other end of the home contains the bathroom and kitchen, which employs the same idea about a perforated, operable skin.

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

Owing to the local penchant for outdoor living year-round, thanks to the warm climate, the home's breezeway allows for ventilation, and the overhead structure allows for plants to be hung, creating yet another space to be enjoyed:

The indoor/outdoor quality created by the translucent skin is accentuated by a hanging garden which forms another cubic volume suspended from the enclosure.

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

MINI Living / FreelandBuck© MINI Living / FreelandBuck

The fluid interplay of indoor-versus-outdoor, plus multifunctional elements packed into a small footprint effectively busts the common stereotype that small spaces are cramped and dismal. However, with some thoughtful design, it's clear that compact spaces can indeed be quite livable and beautiful. To see more, visit MINI and FreelandBuck.

Striking 160 sq. ft. Urban Cabin features hidden hanging garden
This conceptual design for a micro-house in Los Angeles fluidly mixes the indoor with the outdoor.

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