About a year after Hurricane Katrina, we featured architect Carib Daniel Martin’s H.E.L.P. emergency shelter, a modular concept he developed to solve the challenges of widespread and sudden homelessness in the Gulf region. Almost two years later, having shopped the prototype around to manufacturers and found no takers, Martin is producing his prefab shelter himself in a manufacturing facility he built in Illinois. Now dubbed the microHOME (not to be confused with this micro home), Martin’s product has become commercially available for both emergency and non-emergency purposes.
At just 100 square feet (!) this multifunctional mini house contains a kitchenette, private bath and composting toilet. For supplemental space, it also comes with a porch that has been designed in a number of different styles to suit the inhabitant. It’s hard to imagine how in the world a person (let alone a family!) could live sanely in just 100 square feet. Perhaps as a temporary shelter it would provide welcome relief, but in the long term we suspect anyone would crave some elbow room.
Because it’s now intended for a variety of end users, the microHOME is just one of several iterations in Martin’s line of manufactured homes known as microSYSTEM. He also offers a studio, shed and cabana. It can all be found at the website of Martin’s company Mfinity, aptly named after the infinite options Martin has designed for ultra-compact living.