The Mini Living team created the Urban Cabin concept as a research space to explore the needs of Londoners and to reflect the rich history and culture of the city.
Creative lead of Mini Living Oke Hauser says: ‘Mini Living believes that the creative use of space is key to finding new approaches for the cities we love. In an increasingly generic urbanised world, we can use design to turn spaces into useful and significant places for the city; places that offer specific local characteristics and functions to create a unique identity on various experiential layers.’
The structure has been designed to reflect London’s unique vernacular as a city of contrasts, by local architect Sam Jacob. Externally, the mirrored, multi-faceted surface represents London’s historic geometric facades, while inside there’s a contemporary and imaginative space that reflects Britain’s eccentric nature and wit.
‘The mirrored surface of Urban Cabin is playing with the reflections of its surrounding, while the interior is an interactive space designed to understand and evaluate the personal needs of the London urbanite. It’s crucial to our design process that we truly understand what makes living in this specific city unique,’ says Corinna Natter, experience designer at Mini Living.
The ‘micro library’ is a unique space where visitors can read and swap books on life in London over the generations, with classic tomes from the likes of Dickens, Shakespeare and Keats, alongside bestselling design books. There’s also a shared kitchen, which enhances this idea of community, and highlights a current key element of urban life.
London Design Festival director Ben Evans says: ‘Everyone lives and works somewhere, but most of us rarely think about the spaces and places we inhabit. This landmark project, like all London Design Festival projects, challenges us to pause and consider how design frames and defines our living world.’
The cabin will be on display at Oxo Tower Wharf as part of London Design Festival, which runs from September 16–24. For a guide to the festival, click here. Mini Living will also be installing Urban Cabins in other major cities around the globe in coming months, including one in New York during ‘Archtober’.