No shelter is too small or too basic to accommodate a comfortable lifestyle when everything you need, from your bed and kitchen to walk-in closets and mini theaters, is contained in one compact, mobile, modular ‘living unit.’ Often fitted out for plumbing and boasting their own internet and sound systems, these rooms-within-rooms can instantly make warehouses and other typically uninhabitable spaces into cozy apartments or save an astounding amount of space when square footage is severely limited.
Kammerspiel Unit by Nils Holger Moormann
Designed for people living in micro apartments, Nils Holger Moormann’s ‘Kammerpsiel’ contains just about everything you need in an apartment, in one compact and highly efficient package. The bed is lofted above the walk-in closet, while important functions are located along the perimeter, like the couch, storage, desk, dining are and even a place to display and store your bike.
Cubitat by Urban Capital and Luca Nichetto
Measuring 10 by 10 by 10, the Cubitat by Luca Nichetto and urban Capital is designed to be a ‘plug and play’ living space containing a built-in kitchen, living room, bed, bathroom and closets. The idea is that you could move into virtually any kind of building and instantly make it inhabitable without the need for further renovations.
Living Cube by Ken Isaacs
The first designer to come up with this concept seems to have been Ken Isaacs, whose 1974 book ‘How to Build Your Own Living Structures’ still serves as a roadmap to modular room systems today. Isaacs reportedly came up with the idea when he was a poor Chicago student needing a place to live and work. The whole book is downloadable here.
The Hub by Kraaijvanger Architects
Another all-in-one apartment system, the Hub by Rotterdam-based architects Kraaijvanger, contains everything you need to make a warehouse a comfortable place to live – even plumbing. It measures just a little more than 160 square feet, hooks up to existing water mains through an access point in the floor, and has its own internet, heating and sound system.
Wooden Mountain Hotel Suite, Volkshotel
Not all modular living systems are cubes, though. The Wooden Mountain in the Volkshotel’s Edmund Suite packs just as much function into an amorphous wooden structure, including a wardrobe, double bed, shower, toilet, full-sized soaking tub and even a cactus garden. Photos by Arend Loerts.