MINI LIVING Introduces it’s Fourth Urban Cabin from Beijing

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This experimental tiny house comes all the way from Beijing, China. The house has been developed by the architecture firm Penda, as part of the MINI LIVING Urban Cabin project.



The project was completed in 2018 and is the fourth experimental home to be displayed (there are five in total). The unit is on display at the House Vision event in China.



The unit is is spread out over an area of 161-square-feet (15-square-meters). Despite appearances, it seems to only have a single floor (there is no staircase apparent).


MINI demonstrates how to potentially achieve maximum quality of living within a minimum space. – Penda


A common theme throughout the Urban Cabin series is the need for flexibility. Living spaces should be able to double up on functions, transforming from one use to another with ease.


Each of the Urban Cabins is meant to seek inspiration from it’s locale, drawing on history, culture and traditions to create a prototype home that would slot into the environment.

One particular design focus is the local identity and culture of the specific location in each case. – Penda

In this case the designer opted for an interior that features two living spaces, separated by a perforated metal facade. As with all small home’s transparency is a vital element, and it’s been put to use here too.


The house is obviously left very open for people to explore and experience the space, but additional openings have been introduced. The protrusions in the roof are lined with reflective surfaces that bounce golden light down into the center of the home.

The MINI design principles have been adhered to throughout – you’ll find surfaces, fixtures and fittings that can be pushes, folded, rotated in order to recreate the rooms, transforming them from one use to another.

While the Urban Cabin is obviously not functional, perhaps there are some ideas surrounding spaces and it’s use that we can glean from its experimental nature.


Photos © Xia Zhi, Laurian Ghinitoiu

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.