Living in an apartment with the footprint of a parking space may seem improbable and uncomfortable, but the chic Tikku micro-apartment shows us that it can be done. In response to pressures of the housing crises, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande of Casagrande Laboratory designed and built a prefabricated mobile micro-apartment that can pop up in as little as a day. The three-story-tall apartment is designed to be mobile so it can go almost anywhere a car can—with enough overhead clearance—and can operate off the grid.
Tikku, which means ‘stick’ in Finnish, earns its name from its skinny profile and timber construction assembled from cross-laminated timber modules. The stackable modules occupy the footprint of a parking space measuring 2.5 by 5 meters and require no foundations thanks to a sand box counterweight located at the bottom of the building. Even in Finland’s brutal winters, the architects say that 20-centimeter-thick cross-laminated timber is sufficient to weather the cold without added insulation.
The first Tikku prototype was unveiled for the Helsinki Design Week 2017 outside Atheneum in the heart of Helsinki. The 37.5-square-meter micro-apartment includes three floors, one for sleeping, another for working, and the topmost reserved for a light-filled greenhouse. The CLT modules allow for easy customization and the introduction of different living spaces, from a kitchen and sauna to knitting room and workshop.
The Tikku is self-sufficient and runs off of solar energy. Composting toilets are installed, however running water is not. Residents are expected to make use of their urban resources for showers, saunas, and laundry machines—a reasonable expectation for cities like Helsinki or Tokyo that have that infrastructure. “Tikku is a safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism, a contemporary cave for a modern urban nomad,” wrote the architects. “It will offer privacy, safety and comfort. All the rest of the functions can be found in the surrounding city. Tikku is a needle of urban acupuncture, conquering the no-man’s land from the cars and tuning the city towards the organic. Many Tikkus can grow side-by-side like mushrooms and they can fuse into larger organisms.”
Images via Casagrande Laboratory