No. 308 . 18 October 2006 
ArchitectureWeek
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m-ch

by ArchitectureWeek

A few lucky students in Europe have experienced the "micro-compact home" (m-ch), an aluminum cube that offers the basics of modern living in less than 665 cubic feet (19 cubic meters). They are appreciating that living in small quarters doesn't have to cramp their style.

Within each cubical dwelling, which is 8 feet, 9 inches (2.66 meters) on a side, the furniture and mechanical, communication, and sound systems are all built in to allow the inhabitants to live comfortably in a tight space.

The m-ch is an invention of architect Richard Horden, principal of Horden Cherry Lee Architects Ltd, and a professor at the Technical University Munich Institute. He developed the design in conjunction with a team of students and Lydia Haack + John Höpfner Architekten. The first models were installed on his campus, and he and six students inhabited the first seven-unit "village" beginning in November 2005.

Already being manufactured and marketed, the relatively lightweight 2-ton (1.8-tonne) structure is produced in an Austrian factory and delivered complete to a site. Once there, it is installed on a three-legged base, without a foundation, so it minimizes site disturbance and "touches lightly on the earth." The height of each leg is adjustable to compensate for sloping sites.   >>>

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