MIMA Light is a small prefabricated house raised up from the landscape on a near-invisible base


The architects behind a prefabricated housing company have completed one of their smallest buildings so far – a cuboidal property raised on a mirrored plinth above a grassy Portuguese landscape (+ movie).


MIMA Light is the most simple of the building models offered by the MIMA House brand, established by architects Mário Sousa and Marta Brandão to offer affordable high-quality homes that are quick and easy to manufacture.

MIMA Light

Available in a variety of sizes and colours, this house comprises a simple rectangular block.

Its most unusual feature is a mirrored base, designed to create the impression that the building is floating above the ground.

MIMA Light

"MIMA Light is the ultimate achievement in modular construction, combining an outstanding lightness with an iconic and minimal image," explained the design team.

"This home seems to levitate above the ground due to the lining of the base with mirrors."

MIMA Light

Sousa and Brandão completed their first MIMA House in 2011, for approximately the same cost as a family car. They went on to build more across Portugal, including a summerhouse in scenic Alentejo.

MIMA Light

The MIMA Light is a stripped-down version of this original house, more suited to an individual or a couple than a family.

It is available in lengths of between seven and 12 metres.

MIMA Light

Located in Portugal's Viana do Castelo, this example is at the larger end of the scale, with an area of 30 square metres.

MIMA Light

Offering various layouts, the building can function as a simple one-room home, or it can be divided up into separate living and sleeping areas. Alternatively, it could be used as an office or commercial space.

MIMA Light

"MIMA Light is simple to produce and more practical to achieve than any other MIMA product," said the team.

"This module is completely produced and assembled in factory and then transported to the local site, ready to be implemented."

MIMA Light

Externally the house is clad with aluminium panels, which come in a variety of shades and tones, while the interior is lined with pine wood to offer a sense of warmth to occupants. It is available either furnished or unfurnished.

MIMA Light

Both ends of the building are glazed, with one set back to create a small sheltered balcony.

Glazed panels can also be integrated along the length of the volume if additional daylight is required.

MIMA Light

The design was inspired by the minimalist sculpture of artists including Donald Judd, John McCracken and Robert Morris, according to the architects.

MIMA Light

"The new MIMA Light aims to be epitome of sophistication, synthesising a surprising combination of sculptural depuration and interior comfort," they said.

MIMA Light

The structure is constructed by building firm Portilame using cross-laminated timber – an engineered wood product that is becoming increasingly popular with architects, who claim it offers sustainability, quality and speed of construction.

MIMA Light

Other examples of small prefabricated dwellings include a collection of micro homes by a US firm, a modular countryside home in Brazil and a cloud-shaped residence in France.

Photography is by Jose Campos.

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Alternative plans of mima light modular home
Floor plan layouts – click for larger image
Sections of mima light modular home
Typical sections – click for larger image
  • spadestick

    Very nice! Love the mirror base.

  • Urban Commentary

    Wonderful! Delightfully simple yet genius.

  • AmmaarahF

    Absolutely stunning.

  • scotsims

    Pretty until a rock thrown by a mower hits the mirror.

  • Anne

    Love this. Well worthy of its place on Dezeen.

  • Pepijn Laforce

    After a torrential rainfall, they’ll have to make sure to clean all mirrors, if not the effect will be lost. This doesn’t take away the fact that it looks pretty good.

  • Jess Thinkin

    I’m at a loss! How can such a uniquely sublime visual effect be such a BAD idea!?

  • Delbert Grady

    Cheers for a solution to how to live in a floating box in the woods. Although, it is the part of modern-style buildings that I wonder why most architects choose. Why ALWAYS light over heavy?

    Did anyone yet complain about the mirrors perpetuating ground hog abuse?