How much house does a person need to live comfortably? For Van Bo Le-Mentzel, one square meter would do.
The Berlin-based architect is challenging our pre-conceived notions of what qualifies as livable space with his aptly named One-Sqm-House design. Though no bigger than most toolsheds, the basic dimensions of the portable microhouse makes for a surprisingly accommodating dwelling experience. For instance, the one-person unit can be turned on its side for a restful night's sleep and features a small open air window that allows the occupant to receive guests.
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Le-Mentzel's project was born out his experiences as a Loatian refugee and his longing for a place to call home. While a one square meter living space isn't a lot, Le-Mentzel explains that, with enough imagination, its enough for residents to feel like they have place of their own while at the same time allowing them to settle and re-settle whenever and wherever they want.
And with the support of EastSeven Hostel and the BMW Guggenheim LAB, a mobile lifestyle exhibit of innovative ideas, Le-Mentzel is now bringing his ideas to the public. Until July 29th, interested parties can come on-site and build their own one-sqm-house, subsidized through the lab. Apartment-seekers can also rent out one of the microhouses at a rate of one euro a night through rental site Airbnb.
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Nice idea. But I'm sure some of you are asking where would one shower, use the toilet or cook. As part of rental agreement, tenants are offered the use of kitchen and showers at Eastseven Hostel and Wifi in the BMW Guggenheim Lab area.
It's not a concept that's going to take off, but at the very least, it asks us to re-imagine what's possible, even with so little.
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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com