Mima House by Mima Architects

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Mima House by Mima Architects

This prefabricated house in Portugal costs about the same price to manufacture as a family car (photographs by José Campos).

Mima House by Mima Architects

Designed by Mima Architects, the Mima House has a modular structure and can be divided into rooms with a grid of removable partitions.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Large windows on each elevation have wooden frames and hinge open as doors.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Plywood panels transform the windows into walls to create privacy where necessary.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Some other interesting Portuguese house we've featured include one that the architect describes as a grey house with a black backpack and another with gaping chasms in the roof - see all our stories about Portugal here.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Here's some more text from the architects:


Mima House
Viana do Castelo, Portugal

MIMA started from the intention of planning a dwelling that responds directly to the lifestyle of nowadays’ societies.

Mima House by Mima Architects

How can architecture adapt to the quick life changes and ambitions of a well informed and increasingly exigent society?

Mima House by Mima Architects

MIMA architects researched during years to be able to put together on a single object a fast produced, flexible, light and cheap yet good quality product, wrapped up with a pleasant clean design.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Motivation

More fundamentally, MIMA responds to the modern dream for clean sophisticated design and bright open spaces, launching in the housing market a dream 36 sq.m. dwelling which costs the same as a mid-range car.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Inspiration

MIMA’s concept is fundamentally inspired on the traditional Japanese house, the perfect paradigm for lightness, flexibility, comfort and pleasing lines.

Mima House by Mima Architects

The restrained order of its standardized building parts appealed to MIMA architects as the hallmark of a deeply rooted culture, confirmed over centuries and easily adaptable to any new development.

Mima House by Mima Architects

MIMA uses prefabricated construction methods, the secret for its quick production and low price.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Likewise, traditional Japanese residential post-and-beam construction could be considered inherently a system of prefabrication: it was based on regularized column spacing known as the ken, the infill elements of shoji screens, fusuma panels and tatami mats, prefabricated by individual craftsmen in different locations of Japan could be precisely put together almost like pieces of a puzzle.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Flexibility/Mutability

MIMA consists of a square post-and- beam structure completely glazed on all sides, subdivided by modular 1,5mx3m wooden frames.

Mima House by Mima Architects

MIMA houses come with additional plywood panels which can be placed on the inside and the outside of the building, for a replacement of any window by a wall in a matter of seconds. The inside is defined by a regular grid of 1,5m, whose intermediate lines leave gaps for internal walls to be added when needed.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Again, in a matter of seconds, a subdivided space can be replaced by an open space or vice versa.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Moreover, each side of internal and external walls can have a different color/finishing, which allows a dramatic change through a simple wall rotation.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Despite its standardized construction methods, MIMA houses can be customized in so many parameters, that you’ll hardly see two equal houses.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Interface

MIMA houses can be tested and customized any time at www.mimahousing.pt.

Mima House by Mima Architects

A 3D software developed by MIMA’s architects and software engineers allows a recognition of your land through Google Earth and generates an automatic 3D model for a realistic perception of the house and site.

Mima House by Mima Architects

This software allows for walking inside the house and defining the architectural finishes– external walls, internal divisions, materials and colors.

Mima House by Mima Architects

Construction: June 2011

  • Mike

    That one reminds me to much of the LOFT CUBE by Werner Aisslinger http://www.loftcube.net

  • Tom Ford

    "How can architecture adapt to the quick life changes and ambitions of a well informed and increasingly exigent society?"

    In a time when most can hardly afford to buy a tent, let's build pristine white glazed pods without regard for privacy or sun control – the glazing alone costs more that a mid-sized car not to mention the white leather Barcelona chair. Another pretentious "prefab" project from some rich kids masquerading as architects.

  • FBot

    It would be good to see some diagrams of the possible configurations

  • esther

    for me this looks like a copy of Werner Aisslinger's Loftcube…

  • Nicole

    for me too! I prefer the original !

  • andreas

    Nice.

    However, with these huge gIazed facades and no apparent external shading, I wonder how solar heat build-up is dealt with. I mean, considering Portugal in the summer; will it not get crazy hot inside?

  • http://www.space-workshops.co.uk James

    Interesting concept to pursue. Temporary vs permanent is one that keeps architects occupied time and again. It would be good to spend time living in this to see if the novelty of rearranging the walls improves or frustrates the space.

  • Diogo

    For me loftcube looks like Wayback Machine 1971: The Venturo Prefab… Loftcube's a little home … MIMAHouse it's all a new concept…

  • bajic

    Very nice, but chair presented above will double the price of such affordable house :)

  • http://www.scalemodelnews.com DMJ

    Handsome looking thing, though I take on board other comments about heat buildup in the Mediterranean sun.

    Also, privacy is likely to be an issue for those without their own secluded patch of land.

    I wonder how MIMA would translate into a northern climate, where there are major issues in keeping warm during the chilly winter months.

    I am presently very excited with concepts for shipping container homes, which generally seem to have better answers to these sort of questions, as well as for basics such as cost and flexibility.

    • Mark

      Open a window. With modern glazing and some curtains it would be more than comfortable.

  • edward

    Someday, sometime, somewhere, architects will develop a USABLE home that is cost effective and practical to forever consign the gerry built abortions now the standard of the US "home" builders to the dust bin. It will provide a level of quality equal to the automobiles parked in its garage. .

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    "More fundamentally, MIMA responds to the modern dream for clean sophisticated design and bright open spaces, launching in the housing market a dream 36 sq.m. dwelling which costs the same as a mid-range car."

    36 m2 is not a "dream" dwelling. More of a nightmare, IMO.

    Though, this might make an affordable Summer house, despite the valid heating objections raised by previous comments.

    Pity they don't show more about the kitchen or the bathroom, since those would be the trickiest elements of any modular dwelling.

  • aimee82225

    that's exately what i've serched for a while.
    prefabricated modular concept housing…
    looking good, cheap (i can't be sure of this part, though..) and flexibe one.
    btw, i wonder if they have a solution of moving kitchen or bathroom.
    is it possible to arrange all the pipe stuff just moving panels?

    anyway, the way to composit is smart. :)

  • http://www.bebeksisme.org şişme bebek

    How can architecture adapt to the quick life changes and ambitions of a well informed and increasingly exigent society?"

  • zyox

    There is nothing new under the sun http://www.yesterdayyousaidtomorrow.de/2011/04/ul

  • http://fotos.sapo.pt/deslize/perfil MisterRui

    the portuguese have their own myths, regarding regular or standard building, such as beam and openings, since the pombaline remodeling, wich was a foreign style, german rococo

    the japanese play with disposable plain elements that need replacing, not cleanning, like framed paper, along with costumized elements that are treasured, again not cleaned

    there are several modular systems for dwellings, that can become sale stands, cafes, whatever, what would we need a myth for? If only portuguese architects' loggs were simpler, they look like brain storming

    this one made it to a design website, via a photographer (just guessing), well congratulations!

  • willy clavijo

    Firm and clear like a polished diamond.

  • John McGuire

    Good Copy! lol
    But it could damage your image forever…

    I prefer the original Loft Cube

  • http://kadinazdiricidamla.com kadın azdırıcı damla

    for me too! I prefer the original

  • agata

    I think that the possibility of change the internal and external walls (thanks to modularity) is a smart idea! Loft Cube is nice but it's just a "design product", it hasn't a clever sense of use.