The Micro-Compact Home: m-ch Set to Make Its UK Debut
| by Levent Ozler
The micro-compact home (m-ch), pioneered by Horden Cherry Lee Architects, is to make its UK debut next month.
Following the international attention sparked by the O2 Germany sponsored student village of micro-compact homes in Munich, Germany the prototype dwelling will be showcased at this year's Grand Designs Live exhibition, at ExCel in Docklands, 2-4 June, before arriving in Berkley Square, central London. 6-10 June 2006.
At Grand Designs Live, an exhibition based on Channel 4's hugely popular TV series, m-ch will feature on its own site alongside other world-leading housing concepts the German HUF HAUS, the British PAD concept home and Container City in "The Grand Village" to be built in Royal Victoria Square immediately in front of ExCel's exhibition halls in London's Royal Docks.
From 6-10 June the unit will take centre stage on the South side of Berkley Square, W1, a stones throw from Horden Cherry Lee's studio on Bruton Place, giving developers and interested purchasers the opportunity to experience "cube living" at first hand.
The micro-compact home is specifically designed for short-stay smart living and is suitable for a variety of locations, providing sophisticated compact accommodation for business or leisure use. The slick aluminium cuboid pod integrates sound, flat-screen, communication and energy systems and requires no furniture. With a substantially reduced building volume there is an effect of creating a greater flow of nature through the building.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this product to the UK to show British developers, investors and consumers how state of the art technology can be integrated into a lightweight compact dwelling," said hcla director Richard Horden, who initiated the m-ch concept at Technical University Munich, where he teaches, and developed it in partnership with German practice Lydia Haack and John Höpfner Architects.
A case study "village" of seven micro-compact homes, sponsored by telecommunications company 02 Germany, has already won over students from the Technical University Munich. The village was commissioned by the city's student housing authority, Studentenwerk Munich. The six students who moved into the village in November, alongside their British professor, Richard Horden, chose to stay in the "cubes" for an extra semester, extending their stay to the full academic year.
Horden Cherry Lee have received hundreds of enquiries for the m-ch following the launch of the O2 Village in Munich last November, and several projects are being explored jointly with the m-ch's Austrian manufacturer Micro-Compact Home Production GmbH.
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The micro-compact home (m-ch) is a2.65m aluminium cubic pod, which integrates communication and energy systems and requires no furniture. The layout is influenced by traditional Japanese tea-house architecture with space divided into distinct zonal layers. Features include a plasma screen, built in hi-fi and fully fitted kitchen. Several units can be mounted on a separate external aluminium frame system in a vertical formation around a central lift and stair core to form a "village". The 02 Village illustrates an alternative horizontal assembly of units accessed from a 1mraised pathway containing services supplies.