Green Living

Japanese micro huts that are challenging the way we live

Article by Homes to Love

With million-dollar properties selling at the rate of 25 per day around New Zealand, this new range of micro houses by Japanese company Muji could hold the answer to the housing crisis

The exterior of Naoto Fukasawa's Muji Hut made from wood with an expanse of glass

The exterior of Naoto Fukasawa’s Muji Hut made from wood with an expanse of glass. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

Better-known for its sleek homeware and apparel, Japanese company Muji has now teamed up with top international designers to develop tiny homes. Muji enlisted English product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison, Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic to each design a micro hut using only sustainable materials.

The interior of Naoto Fukasawa's pre-fab hut

The interior of Naoto Fukasawa’s pre-fab hut. Fukasawa’s design offers a sense of retreat from urban living. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

These ‘Muji Huts’ are tiny pre-fab houses that are mobile, compact and minimal. Each of the designs forgoes doors and walls where possible to keep costs down, with open-plan floor plans and pared-back interiors. Konstantin Grcic: “My MUJI Hut represents an enclosed space which is small enough to stay within the norm of constructions which need no building permission in Japan (3 x 3.3 x 4.5m).”

Konstantin Grcic's two-storey Muji Hut made from aluminium with shoji-style sliding door.

Konstantin Grcic’s two-storey Muji Hut made from aluminium with shoji-style sliding door. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

All three designs are transportable meaning they can be installed in a variety of different locations.

The interior of the aluminium hut by Konstantin Grcic

The interior of the aluminium hut by Konstantin Grcic. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

The three hut designs were released as part of Tokyo Design Week (24-28 October 2015) and are built using only sustainable materials such as aluminium, cork and wood.

Jasper Morrison's Muji Hut clad in cork with a timber deck and gently sloping roof.

Jasper Morrison’s Muji Hut clad in cork with a timber deck and gently sloping roof. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

These huts are an extension of the small house movement, which advocates a return to houses of less the 93m². The tiny house movement takes it even further, with houses no larger than 37m². These huts will go on sale in Japan next year with price points yet to be decided.

Inside the cork hut with its minimal kitchen and mid-height windows.

Inside the cork hut with its minimal kitchen and mid-height windows. Photo courtesy of Muji.

 

Words by: Johanna Thornton
Photography by: Muji

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