Wednesday 1 August 2012


A German architect, Bo Le Mentzal, recently designed the world’s smallest home. ‘Home’ is definitely up to interpretation when it comes to his latest design, as it’s just a tiny structure with enough room to sit, and when turned on its side, to lie down. There is no bathroom, but it does have a roof, fold out desk and a small window. At one square meter, I wasn’t joking when I said small.

But for this architect [and for myself] it does open an intriguing dialogue on what truly makes up a home – hmmm, at the moment our home is made up of the King’s cars, cars, and more cars. In the architect’s mind, Bo Le-Mentzal was compelled by the question of how much space does one need to truly call something home? And what does the term ‘home’ even constitute (my version of a home will always have a bathroom; I’m far too OCD to use a public restroom). Is it simply a place to sleep? Does it revolve around one room (the kitchen, always the kitchen), or is the space on the inside inconsequential to the outside space around it? I suppose this is going to vary from individual.

For him these are questions that he hopes will cause people to think about what they really need and how important their possessions are as well the importance of the space around them. For some, I’m thinking their possessions are far too much of a priority to live in a one square meter box, but hey, we can’t all be monks. For me, I spent many years owning no furniture and very little stuff enabling me to move at a moment’s notice with just a few boxes. I admittedly was a gypsy and preferred it that way. I have to say, for that amount of time, it was incredibly liberating. I had a small box of personal effects and as long there were a few photos on the walls, and I had a pillow and a laptop (please, let’s be real here) I was good to go. Now, as I sit here staring at my living room that resembles a gymboree mixed with an International speedway, I'm thinking those gypsy days are far over.

At a cost of $300 dollars to build one structure, Mentzal is planning a tour in several cities around the world to share his latest design and teach others how to build such structures. Mentzal admittedly is not trying to solve the world’s homeless crisis with a one square meter house, but it’s not a bad idea actually. A roof to protect one from the rain and cold is better than no roof at all as far as I’m concerned.

His long-term goal is to erect structures like this around the world as a place of respite for those in need of some silence, concentration or protection from the elements (as usual my first thought is ‘who is cleaning them?’ And do they serve coffee). Perhaps there will be an app of some sort that directs you to the nearest structure when the bustle of the city is getting to be too much – Apple, get on that; I can SO see myself hiding in one of these one square meter pieces of silent heaven with the King throwing a tantrum outside the door; ‘Mommy’s not home honey, come back later!’

Happy Hump Day. 
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