The fifteenth edition of the Student’s Competition ran by the “Architektura-murator” magazine, was held under the slogan The Minimum House Unit. In this edition a task was to design the smallest housing module anywhere in Poland. It could be a stand-alone building or be part of a larger unit (existing or new). It was supposed to contain a place for sleeping, working, cooking, washing and a toilet.
Average citizen of Poland has approx. 25 sq.m. of living space – according to data from the Central Statistical Office. However, young people cannot always afford even such
a space. What could be the minimum area required for housing? Many architects tried to answer for this question for long.
The situation when world economic crisis is still prevailing on one hand, and the immense possibilities of modern construction and architecture on the other hand, the question becomes particularly relevant. How many possible answers exist? One of the answers is the case of Keret’s House in Warsaw which is already famous and was built in the narrow gap between a block of flats and a tenement, at its widest point with 152 cm, and the narrowest only 92 cm. On the other hand, a prominent architect Renzo Piano fitted the most important features in micro-house Diogene, designed by himself on the area of 7,5 m2.
A group of Chinese designers with the People’s Industrial Design Office, showed ingenuity building a mobile house mounted on a tricycle, perfectly suited to urban conditions.
In addition to free-standing objects, it can also be micro-apartments that arise by rebuilding existing buildings, like old, converted hotel in Wroclaw (with areas starting from just 12 sq.m.) or in a completely new, as in Wilanów in Warsaw.