This home by Van Bo Le-Mentzel at Hartz IV Möbel is considered to be the world’s smallest house, and with an area of only one square meter, it would be hard to disagree. One of the strong suits of tiny homes, and likely one of their greatest appeals, is their ergonomics and space maximizing innovations. Here too, this itty bitty house seems to be winning. Lay the home on its side, and it becomes a cozy bedroom. Leave it upright, and it can function as a meeting room or a hangout. It is outfitted with wheels, which makes it completely mobile, too.
The idea behind this dwelling came from a fascinating source. Its creator is Van Bo Le-Mentzel, who was born in Laos; he originally arrived in Germany as a refugee, and this defining experience played a crucial role in forming his concept of home. With the aim of channeling his ideas into something tangible, he began working together with fellow creator Corinne Rose at the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Berlin, a contemporary art and design think tank where creative professionals can collaborate.
The prototype has been built, tested, and promoted right in front of Berlin’s famed Oberbaumbrücke with resounding success. The next step is to create an entire village of these little houses. In a series of workshops, Le-Mentzel has enlisted Berliners themselves to assist in the building of the houses, each allowed to keep his or her own structure upon completion. The houses cost only €250 to construct, which even makes Berlin’s affordable rents look astronomical.
If the builders cannot afford to throw down the cash, they can also loan it to the Guggenheim Lab for a time and then come pick it up for free. Many of the tiny homes are currently up for rent to travelers and students for a mere €1 a night. Want to try it? Find them on Air BnB.
Le-Mentzel and Rose’s ambitions don’t end in Germany’s Hauptstadt, however. The house is scheduled for a six-year world tour. Their hope is to raise awareness about affordable housing and home ownership, expressing that they can be available to nearly everyone thanks to innovations like these. With this one square meter home, they hope to start a revolution.