Gallery: PREFAB FRIDAY: O2 Student Village


We often get comments about how difficult it would be to live in some of the Prefab Friday homes that we have featured, and none have received more criticism than the Micro Compact Home (m-ch) which we recently featured in our Top 5 Tiniest Prefab Homes post. But the proof is in the pudding, and in 2006, the Technical University of Munich in Germany installed a small village of seven of these homes for six students and a professor to live in for a full year.

Via JetsonGreen

The m-ch house is a lightweight, transportable dwelling that attempts to diminish its energy usage by the efficient design of living space. It is also very small, as in, 2.65 cubic meters, or 77 cubic feet. Lest you think that the folks living inside it will not be able to enjoy themselves or may lack many of the comforts of a regular house, the m-ch features broadband and standard internet links, a plasma screen and high quality kitchen and bathroom appliances. All very tightly packed. To build the village, an external steel structure was created, upon which the various units were mounted. To allow for vertical access to the second floor, a stair core and lift were added.

The village, which was launched last year, was designed by Professor Richard Horden of Horden Cherry Lee Architects with Haack Hopfner Architekten. Originally meant to last only for six months, the village proved so popular with students that their stay on it was extended to a full year.

+ Micro Compact Home O2 student Village
+ Horden Cherry Lee Architects


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  1. atozglobal July 9, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I like the concept and am currently building our own model home, but not so boxy. We have a pitched roof with a sleeping loft. Does anyone have a photo of the bath and shower arrangement? We are interested in the latest technology for the micro bathroom.

  2. David August 1, 2007 at 11:44 am

    i wish i had these dorms when i was in school. i wonder if they could build them on top of each other, or would that be to much weight?

  3. Uros Vitas August 1, 2007 at 6:17 am

    Excellent work in every way:)

    About the material – I guess there’s to much metal inside, maybe some recycled or renewable materials should be considered,

  4. Christopher P. July 31, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    ….Brings to mind the Dome Village in Los Angeles (1993-2006) which, while successful in stemming the transcience of housing for the working poor, succumbed to the underlying circumstances of all urban land, when viewed as a commodity, rather than a community. To be exact, the land it was on became too valuable in trade to sustain the housing units themselves, which remained affordable.
    The student village is a great idea — for a college campus with housing needs and the ability to control land allocation. The fact that these are transportable, due to their size and “miscibility” (i.e., they can be easily arrayed to the dictates of the terrain), means that transient homelessness could be moved from place to place in a larger urban area, like a gypsy camp (which is precisely what happened to the Gypsies and their caravans). The social danger to the “gypsies” is becoming portable outcasts….

  5. Ohyeah July 29, 2007 at 3:37 am

    I’ll go one better. There’s hundreds of people in NY parks living in 10-20 Cubic Feet of space. Cost : $FREE (Cardboard boxes aren’t shiek though).

  6. jerome crumlish July 29, 2007 at 12:33 am

    I think it would be an awesome way of vanquishing the homeless problem for the WORKING poor in the UNITED STATES, … a.k.a. the NEW THIRD WORLD.

  7. Ethan July 28, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Every solution need not be a panacea. I would jump on an opportunity to try one out for a year if my college had them. Plus, think of them as a educational exploration into simplified needs.

  8. D July 28, 2007 at 2:18 am

    How do students living in a box that is basically a dorm room for a year prove anything? Not to mention they look way cooler than a regular dorm room. It’s just an experiment really, even if it comes off as smug and unrealistic. I could see it as a cool hotel room. Now that I think of it, these are totally unoriginal. Basically just a capsule hotel disassembled and spread across a lawn.

  9. Bob Ellenberg July 27, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I’d like to see a floor plan but I think there is an editing error–77 cubic feet? 77 square feet maybe but 77 CF is just a big shipping box!

  10. Diana July 27, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Sure, these are reasonable for student housing, because they’re essentially really high tech dorm rooms. But for working professionals, mature adults or people with families, this kind of housing hardly seems appropriate.

  11. Clara July 27, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    I think it’s a good place to stay if fellow neighbors don’t make too much noise.

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