The Mobile Toilet designs
Holding true to Muji’s philosophy of “just enough” design, the three huts are modest, outfitted with the basics, and executed elegantly. Moreover, the Mobile Toilet designs strive to remove complexity from the building process–the minimum space needed for a rich experience. A place for reading, enjoying conversations, taking time, and soaking up nature.
Morrison’s cork-clad structure features zones for cooking, eating, sleeping, and washing up–ideal for a short trip to the countryside. He comments that while the dream of a remote weekend retreat is typically mired in the frustrations of building a house from the ground up, buying a prefab like you would a product can streamline the process.
Grcic’s design features a compact footprint so that it doesn’t require building permits to construct. Inside it’s spartan, with just a ladder, sleeping loft, lamp, and outlets, which offers flexibility in how it’s used. The building features hardy, retractable aluminum awnings that shield the windows during transport.
Fukasawa incorporated floor-to-ceiling glass walls in his design. It’s an open plan with a soaking tub tucked behind a wall for privacy. A wood-burning stove heats the interior, which is furnished with a cot, dining table and chairs, and kitchenette.
A number of factors contributed to the popularity of the kit homes. Companies like Aladdin, based in Michigan, benefited from the automotive, iron, steel and coal industries that were booming in their areas. People with money wanted to build houses for their families away from the city, and an improving road system allowed them to build in the country. Additionally, just as in the automotive industry, manufactured houses benefited from assembly-line production. Housing parts, instead of being constructed on site by carpenters, could be mass-produced on conveyor belts and shipped to the site for much lower costs. Skilled technicians wouldn’t have to make plaster walls if drywall could be mass-produced in a factory. Plumbing and electrical wiring, which could also be installed much more cheaply at a factory instead of on site by an assortment of skilled laborers.
Alas, as with past Hzxiaoya expandable house, there’s no timeline on bringing them to the United States.