Mexican architects Rodrigo Alegre and Carlos Acosta of the Mexico City-based firm STUDIOROCA have recently launched VMD (Vivienda Minima de Descanso), a new prefabricated housing system for delivering luxurious weekend retreats with reduced ecological footprints. Available to order and customize online, VMD can be fully set up and habitable in just 99 days. Each unit, which can be built as a one- or two-bedroom home, is constructed in a factory using shipping containers and outfitted with ecological materials, smart home technologies and high-end furnishings all created by Mexican designers.

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black and white table with wood chairs in a white kitchen

Created to answer the question, “What would you do with less?” the compact VMD was designed with a focus on sustainability and the “idea of retreating from noisy, polluted, stressful urban centers.” As a weekend getaway, the VMD also emphasizes low maintenance and an easy lock-up-and-go design. All technologies, from the interior lighting system to video surveillance, can be controlled remotely.

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small dining set near a large, wood-framed window
small gray sofa between a hallway and a dining set

The prefabricated homes are manufactured in a climate-controlled factory in Mexico using a shipping container structure clad in Viroc for a non-toxic facade that’s also resistant to fire and water damage. The interiors are dressed in eco-conscious materials, such as Bolon’s Elements Oak flooring made from up to 33 percent recycled materials, and appliances, like the low-flow bathroom fixtures by Helvex. Floor, wall, countertop and bathroom finishes can be customized to meet different style preferences. Customers will also have options to make their VMDs self-reliant by installing solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems and incinerating toilets.

small gray sofa and round black coffee table
white double bed against a wood wall

From order to delivery, the VMD should take just over three months to complete, along with a week needed for installation on site. Due to the strength of the structure, the house can be placed in almost any location accessible by a large trailer and crane, with no complex foundations necessary and minimal building permissions required. The VMD was launched at Inédito as part of Design Week Mexico in October. Fulfillment of VMD orders will begin next year.


Images via Taller Escape