Big box, little house

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It may be small, but with its clean lines and strong grid like structure, the Mini House is a modern take on the traditional bach.

It may be small, but with its clean lines and strong grid like structure, the Mini House is a modern take on the traditional bach. Image: Jonas Wagell

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With its summer-ready deck, it's not hard to imagine the Mini House sitting on a local beach.

With its summer-ready deck, it’s not hard to imagine the Mini House sitting on a local beach. Image: Jonas Wagell

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The Swedish design would also make for a snug forest hide out.

The Swedish design would also make for a snug forest hide out. Image: Jonas Wagell

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Jonas Wagell's prefabricated design.

Jonas Wagell’s prefabricated design. Image: Jonas Wagell

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Kitsets are given a bad rap (mostly warranted) but this small yet perfectly formed flat-packed home could change that.

It’s the brainchild of Swedish architect Jonas Wagell, who saw changes in building regulations as an opportunity to create a new home design. His prefabricated modular home, known as the Mini House, is 15m2 and comes with an outdoor terrace-cum-pergola of the same size. “The concept was developed as a response to new Swedish regulations allowing house owners to build a 15m2 house without a building permit,” explains Wagell. “Also the pergola is constructed with an airflow of 50 per cent, which makes it building permit free as well.”

Included in the Mini House are the walls, framing, roofing, trim-less windows, and an insulating polystyrene core clad with plywood or plastic laminate. The whole shebang comes flat-packed and can be put up in just two days, which makes it amazingly more efficient to build than a regular dwelling. No surprise, then, that the design has been incredibly popular with Swedes, who tend to put them up as summer houses.

To keep up with demand, Wagell is now collaborating with another Swedish studio, Sommarnöjen, on newer, bigger versions. The Mini House 2.0, which can be made as big as 70m2, will soon be for sale in Scandinavia. Next year, the houses will be for sale in Western Europe. But will they ever be available to Kiwis?” We will start to deliver to Scandinavia,” says Wagell, who has been overwhelmed by the response, “and then gradually expand from there!”.


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