Architecture

This beautiful pre-fab home can cosily fit in the space of one parking spot

Marco Casagrande has come up with a clever way to address Helsinki’s, as well as other cities’, growing housing problem: by building homes with a footprint of a single car parking space.

The head architect of Casagrande Laboratory explained that, contrary to popular belief, cities do have lots of space to live in. It’s just that these remaining open areas are utilised by cars, and not people.

So he came up with ‘Tikku’, a three-story micro-apartment that measures just 8.2 feet by 16.4 feet, or a space that’s a little bigger than your typical parking spot.

It’s assembled out of CLT cross-laminated timber modules that work like massive LEGO blocks. Simply install a sandbox as the base – instead of digging and constructing a foundation – then connect the pieces overnight. The light and flexible material provides better protection against earthquakes, yet is still thick enough to insulate the home during winter.

Tikku is divided into three sections: an office, a bedroom, and a greenhouse. While it does provide creature comforts like dry toilets and solar electricity, it does not have a kitchen or running water (yet). Casagrande defends that anyone can access these amenities at public places like gyms.

He also stated that he’s now working on more prototype designs to address these concerns, as well as suit different personal needs.

“I want to mass-produce Tikkus in different combinations,” Casagrande told Fast Company. “It’s very easy to make very different modules. You can choose what is the best combination for you: If you want two floors for living, or a kitchen unit, or a sauna, or a place for yoga or a place for a small shop downstairs, and so on.”

Casagrande Laboratory has already received orders to build the houses, which cost on average US$40,000 (or AUS$51,000).

If you’d like to see Tikku for yourself, a prototype was made for Helsinki Design Week and is currently on display at Helsinki Square.