The structure crams space for three people into a into 16-foot-wide building, and there's a garden on the roof.
Despite the brand name, Mini’s products like the latest Countryman aren’t necessarily very small these days, but the automaker is showing that it still knows how to think little with its new Mini Living – Breathe tiny house concept at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The design by New York architecture firm SO-IL measures just five metres (16.4 feet) wide and 10 metres (32.8 feet) tall, and there are accommodations for three people to live inside.
The design looks like a large hive, and there’s not much privacy. The outer skin is translucent, which lets plenty of natural light into the rooms, but it also means that people on the outside can see in them. The roof features a garden, and Mini imagines that the oxygen from the plants helps improve the air quality around the structure. The top of the building also collects rainwater for the greenery up there.
Mini imagines a building like the Breath as a way to deal with the shrinking room in urban spaces. If you happen to be near Milan, Italy, you can check out the structure from April 4 through 9.
Mini has been toying with various ways to live small for a while. For example, the company partnered with trailer maker Airstream in 2009 on a custom example with a retro-inspired interior.
If you need even less room in your life, Nissan showed a custom e-NV200 van in the United Kingdom with an on-board office. The space inside measured just 151.8 cubic feet (4.3 cubic metres), but there was enough space for a work area and a tiny kitchenette. Meanwhile in the United States, the company has been using a Titan XD pickup for towing around the pint-sized Heisman House to various events.