80 square feet, this prototype house, developed by Priztker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, was installed on the Vitra campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in June 2013. The name Diogene refers to the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who supposedly lived in a barrel in the Athenian agora to reject the amenities of civilized life.Piano’s interest in small dwellings goes back to his student days, but he didn’t realize anything until Diogene in 2009. Following the project’s publication in one of his monographs, he teamed with furniture maker Vitra to mass produce the model.The prototype on the Vitra lawn is considered an experiment that will be tweaked before production begins.
145 to 290 square feetWhile Spain’s Ábaton (Camino Alonso, Carlos Alonso and Ignacio Lechón) cannot boast of a Pritzker Prize, this did not stop them from tackling a similar problem with their design for a transportable house for two people. The abstract appearance of the project comes from its exterior articulation in cement board panels, some of which hinge and slide for windows and doors, opening up the otherwise sealed building.
106 square feetThe team of Evan Bare and Nathan Buhler, with Jim Moore and Jorge Torres, developed the Bunkie as a prefabricated, multifunctional space that is just smaller than the square footage that requires a building permit in Canada.They envisioned the spaces being used as auxiliary buildings for the country’s ubiquitous cottages. As with many small dwellings, the interior is as much furniture as architecture. In the case of the Bunkie, this is not surprising, given Bare’s background in industrial design and Buhler’s background in crafting furniture.