MINI Living at China House Vision.
MINI presents the latest MINI LIVING Urban Cabin at the interdisciplinary architecture exhibition China House Vision in Beijing from 21 September to 4 November 2018. The micro-apartment concept was developed in cooperation with local architect Dayong Sun.
The Urban Cabin in Beijing is now the fourth interpretation of the concept developed by MINI LIVING last year. The Urban Cabin provides temporary living space with a high degree of flexibility and lots of possibilities – on a surface area of just 15 m2.
One particular design focus is the local identity and culture of the specific location in each case. After stops in London, New York City and Los Angeles, the latest source of inspiration is Beijing.
The central theme of the project is to explore how space can be used in an innovative way to create a new sense of community and maximum quality of living on a minimum surface area. In order to achieve this, the MINI LIVING Urban Cabin Beijing re-interprets traditional forms of urban living in China, thereby stimulating dialogue with community life in the city.
MINI Living started in 2016 and is dedicated to developing novel residential concepts for urban conurbations worldwide. Developments in big cities such as space shortage and price increases are taken into account, as well as the desire for flexibility, local identity and communal interaction. In order to address these diverse aspects, the project takes the “creative use of space” principle as developed for the classic Mini in the field of automotive design and applies it to the residential context.
Every MINI Living Urban Cabin consists of three formal elements. The living and sleeping sections on one side of the micro-apartment and the kitchen and bathroom on the other side are designed by the MINI Living Design Team. The third section is defined by MINI as an experiential space with the character of an installation: for each cabin, a local architects’ bureau is invited to fill out this space. The theme selected always has to be relevant to the specific location. In Beijing this experiential space was developed in collaboration with local architect Dayong Sun. He has created an open area of encounter as a homage to the courtyards of the traditional hutongs. Golden, telescope-like mirrors are mounted above this interactive space, reflecting the immediate environment but also the broader urban context. A swing at the centre of the space provides a playful shift in the viewer’s perspective. The storage and seating facilities positioned around the Urban Cabin are designed in geometrical shapes reminiscent of traditional Chinese tangram puzzles, also acting as an attractive feature for contemplation.
Dayong Sun’s design is inspired by the hutongs common in Beijing’s more traditional districts. A hallmark feature of the city’s architectural history, these residences are made up of courtyard buildings and passageways that are particularly appreciated for the combination of private withdrawal spaces and communal living areas which they offer. This model is now gradually disappearing from the urban landscape as a result of demographic change. The MINI LIVING Urban Cabin in Beijing echoes the underlying principle of hutong while at the same time translating it to the modern age.
This creative combination of personal privacy and opportunities for communal interaction is supplemented with an extensive range of digitally bookable services, thereby establishing a whole new level of living quality in the urban setting of a modern city.