Before Bloomberg’s proposition for mini apartment units, and before tiny houses gained their sizable fan-base, Israeli artist Absalon was designing these über-efficient 26-square-foot dwellings. Absalon's Cellules, or living cells, are tiny living spaces that provide all the comforts of home in a minuscule area. Many Cellules are currently on display at locations around the world, including the Hamburger Bahnof in Berlin.
Named for the smallest unit of life, the artist designed the efficient living structures after spending time living minimally in a hut on a beach. Each of his Cellules are sleek and white, with aerodynamic looking curves and lines. Together, they look like a futuristic city of geometric shape.
Each Cellule dwelling is only 26 square feet, a far cry from even the tiniest apartments in New York City. Each features a long skylight, designed to be lit naturally, as well as a table and chair, a tiny bathroom, and a sleeping hutch made up of a mattress on a storage shelf. The pristine and antiseptic white throughout the dwellings make the space seem more open and airy than their actual space, and accentuates the air and light given from the skylights and window slots.
The late Absalon designed the Cellules to be lived in within some of the world’s major cities- Frankfurt, New York, Tel Aviv, Paris, Zurich and Tokyo. Each cell dwelling was meant to provide an isolated experience in the midst of the big city, providing the barest of essentials for comfortable living, while also creating a cozy and serene feeling of the stark whiteness of the interior and exterior. The inside is clad with plaster, wood, cardboard and fabric, all sustainable materials that also act as insulation for warmth and noise.
Although Absalon’s tiny dwellings may seem extreme, their minimal and modular inspiration can be seen in other prefab and micro-dwelling designs that have come into actualization over recent years.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat