Tiny Living In Narrow Alleyways

Last week, MINI launched a new experimental urban living concept at the Milan Design Week. In collaboration with New York City architects SO-IL, the car brand created a flexible home that features three modular stories and a lush rooftop garden.

The concept of the building, if you can call it that way, focuses on efficient and creative use of space while having minimal impact on the environment and resources. While it was first brought about for the Milan Design Week, the makers of the Breathe installation already imagine it flat-packed, moved, and built up again at other places. The purpose is to challenge conventional living arrangements and the way we use space.

Breathe combines light and flexible design, that can accommodate up to three people and features a total of six rooms. The outer layer of the installation is made from a mesh textile, which filters polluted air and keeps the user in touch with the nature outside at the same time. The translucent fabric allows for nearly all of the natural light of the day to get in and thus brings a more natural rhythm between day and night time.

The Breathe installation was tailored to fit into an alleyway between two houses. However, this is not a concept specifically fixed to one particular space — by changing the outer fabric for more thermal insulation or adding more layers, the dwelling is, in theory, highly flexible to different places with different climate conditions.

The concept is introduced as a creative problem-solving approach to the issues of urban areas now and in the future and can serve as a model of how we might be living a couple of years from now.