For most people, two purchases will stand out as the most expensive of our lives: a house and a car. Although houses usually cost many times the price of a car, this particular minimalist dream home only costs about as much as a mid-range car.
The prefabricated Mima house in Portugal, designed by Mima Architects, is modular in nature and features an internal grid system that can be changed around between privacy and openness as needed.
While the exterior walls are occupied by gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows, these can be easily transformed into walls with the addition of plywood panels.
On lovely days when the weather is just begging to be let in, those huge windows open up on hinges.
Indoors, the modest 36 square meter space can be segmented in just seconds with the addition of more plywood panels. Each wall panel can sport a different color on each side, allowing for a huge variety of looks within the same home.
The concept is based on traditional Japanese dwellings, where lightness, flexibility and openness are essential elements. Although made of prefabricated and modular pieces, Mima allows for such a wide amount of customization that two of these modestly-priced dwellings may never appear exactly the same.
From the architects:
“MIMA House was the first product developed by and it has been awarded Building of The Year 2011 by the world’s most renowned architecture platform Archdaily. MIMA House is an exquisite dwelling that is unique for its ability to be reconfigured by the owners in project and still to keep its iconic form.”
“The 36m2 (387.5 ft2) of inside floor area is divided into a 1.5m (4’11’’) grid by integrated tracks in the floor and ceiling. The interior wall system consists of frames that are snapped into place in the tracks. As a result, the rooms can be expanded or reduced in increments of 1.5 m. Finish panels are then attached to both sides of the wall frames. The finish panels are available in a variety of colors or wood veneer. They can have different colors on either side, so the decor of the house can be changed just by flipping the panels over. Similar panels can be used to cover the windows as needed for privacy or to block out unwanted sunlight and views.”