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 meters (16.4 feet) wide and ten meters (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 meters), 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.
Gallery: Mini Living Breathe Housing Concept
MINI LIVING – BREATHE. MINI SHOWS A VISIONARY CONCEPT FOR LIVING DURING SALONE DEL MOBILE
MINI has teamed up with New York architects SO-IL to unveil the installation MINI LIVING – Breathe at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan. MINI LIVING – Breathe is a forward-looking interpretation of resource-conscious urban living within a minimal physical footprint. The installation calls into question conventional living concepts and demonstrates how architecture can react creatively to future challenges presented by ever-shrinking living spaces and limited resources in urban areas.
In keeping with MINI’s adherence to the principles “Creative use of space” and “Minimal footprint”, the installation conjures attractive living spaces for up to three people within an area just five metres wide and ten metres tall. At the same time, MINI LIVING – Breathe shines the spotlight on the idea of “active experiencing”, in this case through awareness of environment. The concept views the home as an active ecosystem which can make a positive contribution to its environment – expressed here through intelligent use of resources essential to life, e.g. air, water and light. The transparent, flexible outer skin filters the air and floods the installation with natural light to ensure a bright and pleasant ambience inside. Plus, a roof garden stocked with vigorous, oxygen-producing plants does its bit to improve air quality and the urban microclimate around it. Also on the roof, an intelligent construction collects rainwater for further use. The basic structure of the installation features reusable, environment-friendly and recyclable materials, setting the seal on the concept’s keen all-round awareness of the resources involved.
Breathe is the third installation created as part of MINI LIVING – a creative, idea-sharing initiative launched by MINI in 2016 and headlined by architectural solutions for future urban living spaces. Last year, MINI LIVING showcased visionary concepts for shared and collaborative living/lifestyles/working in urban areas through the installations MINI LIVING – Do Disturb (in Milan) and MINI LIVING – Forests (at the London Design Festival).
Visitors to the Salone del Mobile on Via Tortona 32 (Torneria) in Milan, Italy can experience the installation from 4–9 April 2017 inclusive. The brand’s A/D/O design & research platform in New York has put together the fringe programme for the Salone.
The BMW Group
With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2015 was approximately € 9.22 billion on revenues amounting to € 92.18 billion. As of 31 December 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.