SO-IL And MINI Create a Translucent Home for Resource Conscious Living

This oddity of a home has been created in a collaborative effort by the New York firm SO-IL and the car manufacturer MINI. Together, they’ve produced an experimental prototype for sustainable development.


Large emphasis was placed on the use of materials and resources, with the aim of using them in a responsible, environmentally-positive manner.



The project has been dubbed MINI LIVING – Breathe, and according to its designers is a “forward-thinking interpretation of resource-conscious, shared city living within a compact footprint”. The project is on display to the public during the Salone del Mobile event in Milan.



The experimental building was thought up as a possible solution to dense city’s growing housing problems. A shortage of housing, coupled with a lack of attractive alternatives is forcing designers to think outside of the box, be it tiny houses or otherwise. This particular solution focuses on a small footprint coupled with an awareness of resource usage.


It’s composed from a translucent membrane that acts as a skin for a modular steel frame. MINI LIVING is set on an unused site that measures 538-square-feet (50-square-meters). By making use of a modular structure the house can be erected on small, awkward sites, that are perhaps unfit for other forms of construction.


From the designers: “The installation shows what happens when we view houses not only as a space in which to live, but as an active part of our environment – one which plays a positive role for the environment and the people living there.”


There are three stories in total with ground floor contains=ing a kitchen and social area. The other floors feature spaces for relaxation, work and sleeping. A “wet area” would include the bathroom, and the roof would be home to a garden. The translucent skin allows others to make out shapes and shadows, without fully compromising the occupants privacy. Although I imagine it is too transparent for most.

For more tiny houses check out the Wheel Pad Tiny House, an accessible tiny house on wheels. Or, Bus Life, a family from New Zealand opt for a life on the road. See all tiny houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: 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.

  1. the mini living tent is an absurd solution to the difficulty of limited space in an urban enviornment. Any thug with an exacto can enter your home at anytime and steal your possessions or harm your person.

    A home must provide some security for people and things, not merely be a way to prevent rain and snow from contact.

  2. Kristina… excellent points you bring up. A person’s home should be their castle. Not the profit driven centre of the local hoods.