Discover Germany, Issue 87, November 2021

Page 70

The whole construction is made of 255 components. The cladding components are made of solid larch wood.

INDIVIDUALLY SHARED – COUNTRY LIFE 2.0

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: U15 ARCHITECTES

MINIMHOUSE is a groundbreaking new housing concept developed by U15 Architectes. It stands for made-to-measure, integrative and sustainable housing for all.

Efficient and flexible, as well as socially responsible, the project allows individual living with strong social connections through shared resources, with the goal of both landand housing ownership, for all social groups. Individually scalable and based on an efficient and direct connection with the natural surroundings, MINIMHOUSE thus presents a new formula for modern housing in dense rural or peri-urban areas. FACTS AND INSPIRATION A 2018 research study by the Federal Office of Culture indicated that 70 per cent of Swiss citizens aspire to live in individual housing. As both an alternative and a complement to the more traditional or vertically orientated designs for urbanisation, rapidly changing conditions require a softer, more integrative living concept with shared land, components and green resources. 70  |  Issue 87  |  November 2021

The pandemic proved another unexpected source of inspiration for MINIMHOUSE: uncovering the questionable economics of commuting and revealing ideas for a new, more locally orientated work-life balance, as well as self-sufficiency. As an answer to a specific request, U15 Architectes started the MINIMHOUSE project three years ago. Various studies and the completion of the first projects have since demonstrated the feasibility of the concept. THE RESULT: COUNTRY LIFE 2.0 MINIMHOUSE means humanised living efficiently assembled, sustainable and independent. Designed as an ensemble or ‘cluster’, it allows a direct connection to the natural surroundings based on the shared usage of land, water, air and light. Inhabitants occupy the territory progressively and

organically, following a concerted approach. Their houses grow from a determined system basis according to their evolving needs. Thus, the concept offers the ideal balance of private and public space. This new form of processual architecture presents an alternative to the usual collective urbanisation practices in situations of transition between rural and urban spaces. Available in variable sizes, it grows reasonably in proportion to the needs of its inhabitants and is progressively implemented with shared infrastructure. Thus, it responds to the expectations of diversified social groups in a measured way. MINIMHOUSE attempts to overcome the antagonisms of ‘individual vs. collective’, ‘modest vs. elaborate’, ‘traditional vs. contemporary’ and ‘sustainable vs. performing’: these contradictions are being resolved by combining manifold individualisation options with being part of a holistic social living concept at the same time.