The idea behind Mini House started in 2007 as a simple, but refined 15 square meters cabin equipped as a weekend resort or guest house. Flat-pack delivery and quick set-up was key features. The project focused on three areas of developement; building code optimization, creating a defined Product and optimizing production. The first criteria was to challenge the Swedish building code by pushing the limits for what was allowed within the permit-free regulations. Among other things, Mini House took advantage of the regulations for “non-compact structures” to create the outdoor pergola which enhances the experience of volume and space. Furthermore, as a second priority the concept addressed marketing and communication values, by suggesting a better defined “product” than what was currently on the market. Jonas Wagell looked at the automotive industry and questioned why a house would have a lower level of identification and packaging.
In 2014, the concept was simplified and adopted to availability outside of Sweden. It now includes prefabricated volumes to be transported on a truck and placed on the final site with a mobile crane. All houses have interior finishing with wood floors, wood panel interior walls and a few selected optional interior solutions like bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and storage installed from the factory. In theory, only a plinth foundation needs to be prepared, unless the houses are equipped with kitchen or bathroom, which will require further planning and work (and local permits) in regards to sewage, water, electricity etc.
The main difference with the new models – Mini House 2.0 – is that they are completely prefabricated. Dimensions are optimized for shipping pre-build and some structural changes have been made to accommodate this. Moreover, the factory prebuilt models enable all interiors to be finalized indoors, and the houses are basically ready for use once they are unloaded and adjusted in place on the final destination.
Two fifteen square meter versions are the standard models, but the houses could also be manufactured in extended lengths on request and connected by the short-sides. Another alternative is to join two individual volumes with an outdoor pergola roof and wood deck – straight, or in customized angles.
The standard models are developed in two versions; Long and Wide. Both can be combined into houses up to 30 to 45 square meters, and should be available with a selection of interior solutions.
The original Mini House concept was developed and made available in Sweden during 2010-2015. Mini House 2.0 which is focused on a wider European market is designed to include a completely assembled high-quality wooden house with full winter insulation, electricity and interior/exterior painting. Furthermore, the concept includes customized optional add-on such as kitchen, bathroom, bunk bed solution, stove and outdoor pergola. Currently the Mini House concept is not available for purchase. While the concept is finalized, we are looking to partner with a producer to bring the concept back to market.
For overseas customers and for remote site, the only option may be to build a house from scratch with a traditional timber structure, which is essentially the same as a factory-build house. After receiving many inquiries we have considered providing the option to purchase a full set of building construction drawings for the house and all interior fittings. This would include all necessary specifications to build the house with local contractors and suppliers. The set of drawings and specifications would be purchased for a license fee to build one house at a cost of 1,500 EUR. The package would include material descriptions, technical drawings and specifications so the entire build can be made by the buyer himself or by local contractors (recommended). Alternatively, for an additional cost, we would also customize the concept to fit your specific requirements and location.
The idea for the Mini House concept started already in year 2006 as a prospect for a Master Thesis at Konstfack University Colleage of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. The creator Jonas Wagell was studying design and architecture and wanted to combine the two in a defined product, which also had a spatial context. The same year the Swedish building code was going through a revision which opened up the opportunity to build a small house without a building permit. This was the starting point of the Mini House concept.
Words by Rachel Morgan for Menu A/S
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