Mini Living @ Salone Milan 2017

Mini Living @ Salone Milan 2017

Architecture practice SO-IL and Mini Living teamed up on a tiny home prototype that pushed space to the limit while adapting to the demands of urban living.

SO-IL presented concepts that demonstrate how architecture can react to future challenges of tighter living spaces in urban regions.

Mini Living – Breathe is a three-person prefab home made from a modular metal frame covered in a light-permeable skin that filters and neutralises the air.

The outer layer skin reacts organically to the environment and creates a much deeper connection between the inhabitant, their home and the nature. within, the house is divided into a total of six rooms and a luscious roof garden, suitable for accommodating a family of three.

The lantern-like house sat on a plot of just 50 sq m in Milan’s via Tortona.

Mini Living – Breathe calls into question conventional living concepts and introduces a creative problem-solving approach for future challenges in urban areas

The installation shows what happens when we view houses not only as a space in which to live, but as an active part of our environment – one which plays a positive role for the environment and the people living there.

Breathe is a hous­ing pro­to­type for the fu­ture liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment – it takes a holis­tic ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity.

By mak­ing liv­ing an ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, the in­stal­la­tion shines a spot­light on en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and en­cour­ages vis­i­tors to con­front our ten­dency to take re­sources for granted

Designed for up to three dwellers within a footprint of 5 meters wide by 10 meters tall, the volume was composed of a transparent, flexible skin that brought in natural light and air, a roof garden whose plants improved air quality while also collecting rainwater for reuse and a number of recyclable materials.

A mod­u­lar metal frame forms the ba­sic struc­ture of Breathe, and a flex­i­ble, light-per­me­able outer skin of pu­ri­fy­ing fab­ric cre­ates the bound­ary be­tween in­side and out­side.

A to­tal of six po­ten­tial rooms and a roof gar­den pro­vide space for do­mes­tic ex­pe­ri­ence both col­lec­tive and pri­vate



As well as filtering air with a special coating, the flexible outer skin floods the installation with natural daylight.

It acts a complete micro-climate, even to the point where its roof garden, filled with luscious green plants, improves air quality further.

Here, rainwater is collected and stored for later use in the house’s taps or wet area.

Additionally, this recyclable and reusable exterior textile is interchangeable in order to perform according to different climates, but also to enable easy dismantling and reassembly.

De­signed to be dis­as­sem­bled and re­in­stalled at other lo­ca­tions, the struc­ture is mo­bile and adapt­able.

The fab­ric can be re­placed to per­form ap­pro­pri­ately to a wide ar­ray of cli­mates and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions

In­stead of a tra­di­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion with rooms ded­i­cated to spe­cific func­tions, this house is com­posed as a loose stack of porous realms.

A va­ri­ety of at­mos­pheres and spa­tial ex­pe­ri­ences are gen­er­ated through the ma­nip­u­la­tion of light, air and wa­ter.

On the ground floor, a kitchen area acts as a spatial and social interface with the area around the installation – i.e. the outside of the world, but also unites people and encourages social engagement

It welcomes guests, brings people together and encourages them to engage with one another

The three-storey dwelling is divided into six rooms: an open kitchen connects its ground floor to the outside, while living spaces are spread over the upper two levels, with zones designated for work and leisure.

Its rooftop garden provides outdoor space and also captures water.

Above it are various living areas, spread over three levels in all, which offer an inviting place to both relax and work.

Sleeping areas, a potential wet area and the roof garden flesh out the installation’s upper reaches.

The individual living areas are separated by light-permeable textile walls. This translucency allows people in other rooms to make out silhouettes and movements, and creates a feeling of connection and togetherness.

But it also grants residents a sense of privacy


Climbing up the spiralling staircase, the various living spaces are spread out over three upper floors, offering zones dedicated to both relaxation and work. woven into and on top of each other.

Canopies hang securely yet comfortingly to provide personal spaces for sleeping. separate, light-permeable textile walls surround these, offering enough translucency for inhabitants to make out the silhouettes of those in other rooms and feel connected, but still with a sense of privacy.


MINI Living – Breathe brings its residents into direct contact with their environment. By making living an active experience, the installation encourages visitors to confront our tendency to take resources for granted. ”  ……………. Ilias Papageorgiou  (SO-IL’s principal)


Oke Hauser ( mini creative director ) and Ilias Papageorgiou ( so-Il )


“We view the installation as an active ecosystem, which makes a positive contribution to the lives and experiences of the people who live there and to the urban microclimate, depicted here by the intelligent use of resources essential to life – i.e. air, water and light.”


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