Gallery: One-Sqm-House: World’s Smallest House is a Single Square Meter...


The world’s smallest house is finally here. For real. Compared to the One-Sqm-House by Van Bo Le-Metnzel of Hartz IV Möbel, all of the other teeny weeny little dwellings we have featured over the years are enormous. And now they’re going to take over the world. Le-Metnzel, a Laos native who fled his home country as a refugee has spent his entire life exploring the concept of home, has teamed up with Corinne Rose from Berlin’s BMW Guggenheim Lab to grow a global village of these tiny mobile homes.

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As the name implies, the One-Sqm-House house only occupies one square meter. But it is remarkably adaptable. It can be laid down flat for sleeping or propped upright to act as a miniature mobile shop or meeting place. And since it has wheels, it’s possible to roll it away to some other place. Le-Metnzel’s design emerged amid an overarching desire to have at least one square meters of space in the world that was his, and his alone.

Over the weekend,the BMW Guggenheim lab hosted a workshop to encourage Berliners to build as many of these tiny mobile homes as possible. If participants couldn’t afford the €250 required for the materials, they were able to sign up for the karma deal. The terms? Build the house. Rent it to the lab for free, and then after July 29th, when the lab is over, come and fetch it. In the meantime, the lab makes the homes available to students and travelers for a mere €1/night. They can be rented on Air BnB!

Soon the home will go on a six year tour around the world. Rose and Le-Mentzel want Mumbai and New York residents in particular to take up their cause. They want whole communities of these things. Either localized or global. And they want stories, documentation. In short, tired of no longer being able to afford space, tired of being pushed to the margins of society because real estate is just too darned expensive, they are calling for a One-Sqm-House revolution. Will you join the cause?

+ Hartz IV Möbel

+ BMW Guggenheim Lab

lead image via Air BnB, others by Daniela Kleint


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  1. D.A. January 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Whee’s the bathroom?

  2. Theodore Elperro October 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This actually makes me a little angry. In what way whatever can this be defined as a “house”? No one can live in such a thing, and to suggest it as a “meeting place” is just silly. I love the idea of creatively small habitats for humans and it’s one of the reasons I signed up to follow inhabitat. But anyone spending even $250 on something like this isn’t even investing in usable storage space, let alone solving any kind of housing problem. I’m not even going to ask whether the box can stand up to a high wind; I want to know where these “whole communities of these things” are going to, say, pee. And where cook. And do laundry. And keep food and diapers and clothes and pets and kids and books and lights and shoes and blankets and pillows. What’s especially fun is that it isn’t even private. Let’s do a better job of reporting on real news next time, inhabitat.

  3. jlmahan September 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    it doesn’t have a toilet so it isn’t really a house. basically a wooden tent on wheels

  4. aholcomb August 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I encourage Van Bo and everyone interested in this to check out the history on a group of art students from Atlanta (USA) in the early and mid 1990s who called themselves, “The Mad Housers”. They constructed a very small dwelling for the homeless that was similar in shape and just a little bigger. Recipients of the little homes helped build each one and a few communities across the country sprouted, one in Chicago, that I was fortunate enough to see and photograph prior to the Mayor destroying them.

  5. mrothfus August 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Very cute although I am not sure I would be able to sleep in it even for one night – looks uncomfortable. @TinyHouseUK – beautiful! Check out They do not wheel away but can be built in one day and taken down quickly to move if needed.

  6. joedupont July 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hell it could be a boat too. you can camp in a boat floating away from the feds.

  7. Tinyhouseuk July 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I know our houses are not as small but at least we can tick all the boxes.

  8. Calvin K July 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    well maybe it’s time to rethink the concept of a multi-purpose “house” – cook, poop, sleep, work, rest, fun, all in one (and often in your own privacy).

    If you have a community of these dwellings, it just means the occupants will share a lot of the common amenities – community kitchen, garden, washroom, entertainment, etc.

    This just bring up the notion that what do one really need essentially as a individual to consider a dwelling “my house”.

  9. sunrayzd333 July 12, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Hmm.. I am confused on this one. Where’s the kitchen? Lol~

  10. tinyhouseuk July 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Oh come on! and you think people will use these as dwellings? “They want whole communities of these things”. I know our Tiny Houses are small but they can be used as a house at least (see our twitter page). Anyway, good luck with it all, hope it Does take off for you and Smallville is seen on the map.

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