Muji Huts: Affordable Pop-Up Modern Homes Made for Japan

The same Japanese retail chain selling household supplies like space-saving furniture, bed linens and travel toothbrushes will soon sell pop-up houses, too, so you can literally walk out with a kit for an entire, fully-outfitted home in one trip. The Muji Hut, designed by Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa for retailer Muji, comes in three variations starting at $25K. Each offers just enough space for one or two minimalist residents.

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The Japanese housing market is a little different from that of the U.S. and other parts of the world in that real estate doesn’t accrue value over time, and demand for preexisting houses is low. Not everybody has the money to knock down an old house and build a new one in its place, however, and lots tend to be tiny.

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Each designer created their own version of an affordable, no-frills structure that can be assembled in short order, including one made of aluminum, a two-story timber creation and a little cabin clad in cork. Each takes inspiration from kyosho jutaku, the Japanese style of micro homes that aims to squeeze as much function out of tiny footprints as possible.

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The Muji Huts are envisioned as weekend getaway destinations rather than full-time living spaces, but each contains a generous living room, bathroom and kitchen, and can be heated with a wood stove. The huts can be installed in virtually any location, from tight city lots to the banks of a river, and will be available for purchase in 2017.