Are you the “ONE”? The single who perhaps just graduated and is ready to start a career but cannot afford an urban apartment? Then you might need a temporary, portable house that can be built in just one day.


In response to Amsterdam’s tough renter market (a scarcity of tiny apartments with exorbitant rates), Dutch firm Moodworks Architecture created the Heijmans ONE project to offer a solution to singles looking for affordable and sustainable temporary housing. Heijmans ONE’s target group are single household, well-educated, 25-to-35-year-old professionals. Amsterdam is not alone in its dire rental situation. Most European cities have an extreme shortage of affordable apartments for rent.



The homes were designed to give off a positive aura via lots of light and a sense of space, high ceilings and even a view. They can sit on privately or city owned vacant lots that would otherwise be a bit of an eyesore in the urban environment due to their derelict states. Aside from offering young renters a housing solution, they upgrade the city: The new homes could aid in “attracting new cash flows, […] social and community binding” as well as addressing safety issues. Of course, they can be transported via truck and placed virtually anywhere.


The energy-efficient, narrow prefabs measure 484 square feet, and come complete with large living room, kitchen, bathroom, separate bedroom and little patio. Their structure is solid wood with solar panels creating their own energy. Cost is 700 euros (circa $760) a month.


“As a designer, I believe prefabricated architecture can beautifully balance quality, experience and economic feasibility,” says designer Tim van der Grinten. “The prevention of a homogenous ‘Construction Site Trailer’ complex was one of the biggest challenges in this type of movable housing. How can we give the occupant a sense of individuality? Not just by switching the box volumes, this calls for a varied housing landscape that subtly makes space for variation. The architecture of this compact house is characterized by natural materials, space, openness and identity. It is a clearly recognizable property that you can make your own.”

“It is a space a young single person can be proud of. By linking a basic ground-floor module to an asymmetric roof module, the opportunity to create a varied architectural ‘roofscape’ is evident. The idea of the private house is in this way identified, even if it is part of a larger row of terraced houses. The distinctive design form attracts people, with its archetype somewhere between the mundane and the well-known beach houses or holiday houses. Since the property itself – still to be developed – is placed on build lots, the architecture is designed in such a way that it does not give the feeling of a ‘wild’ or natural environment, or the feeling that it does not belong here.”

More at heijmans.nl.