Last edited 22 Jan 2021

MINI Living - Breathe


In April 2017, an installation called Breathe was unveiled in the MINI Living space at Milan’s Design Week. Built by the New York firm SO-IL, the prototype house is described as ‘resource-conscious’, offering a sustainable solution to shared, compact city living.

Positioned in a narrow courtyard site, the designers had to build the house as stacked up living spaces, creating a slim, three-storey modular structure, with a white mesh PVC exterior that is designed to filter and neutralise polluted city air. The roof contains a garden filled with plants to further improve air quality and the urban microclimate.


The structure can accommodate three people and includes up to six room possibilities. The four levels of the house are connected via a spiral staircase, while light-permeable textile walls separate the different spaces.

The house is capable of being dismantled and re-assembled in other locations, and the exterior skin can be replaced with one that performs appropriately to different climates.


SO-IL co-director Ilias Papageorgiou said: "MINI Living – Breathe brings its residents into direct contact with their environment. By making living an active experience, the installation encourages visitors to confront our tendency to take resources for granted.”

Oke Hauser, creative lead of MINI LIVING, said: "We view the installation as an active ecosystem, which makes a positive contribution to the lives and experiences of the people who live there and to the urban microclimate, depicted here by the intelligent use of resources essential to life – i.e. air, water and light.”

Content and images courtesy of SO-IL.

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