Muji is selling minimalistic houses that could be the answer to the housing crisis

Muji’s miniature houses were designed by Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic to give a much more affordable alternative that fits the company’s standards.

Zlata Rodionova
Thursday 12 November 2015 13:36
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Wooden Hut by designer Naoto Fukasawa, unveiled for Tokyo Designer Week 2015.
Wooden Hut by designer Naoto Fukasawa, unveiled for Tokyo Designer Week 2015.

Japanese retailer MUJI, unveiled three micro homes as a new solution for home buyers in Japan during Tokyo Design Week 2015 last week.

The Tokyo-based company, famous for offering minimalistic home interior accessories for an affordable price, has now put its minimal touch on pre-fabricated housing with its three “Muji huts”.

The market for pre-owned homes is very small in Japan. Sales of existing single-family homes in the densely populated Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama areas were just 36,432 last year—a record-breaking number according to Japanese government statistics. Houses in Japan don’t accrue value over time like they do in the UK.

But they’re also not cheap to start with. The average cost of a 40 square metre apartment is $422,440, according to a global property guide.

Muji’s miniature houses were designed by Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic to give a much more affordable alternative that fits the company’s standards.

Light and functional,with largely open floor plans, the little houses were built using only sustainable materials such aluminium cork and wood.

They are available for weekends away or for fans of minimalistic living.

“Whenever I think about going to the country for the weekend, I start imagining a small house with everything needed for a short stay: a place to cook, a place to eat, a place to wash, and a place to sleep," said Britisg designer Jasper Morrison.

"The dream usually collapses when I think of the complexity of building a new house, but with this project I realised there was a chance to design such a house as a product rather than a one-off " he added.

The brand moved into housing in 2014 with a prefabricated "vertical house" to fit into the narrow spaces of Japan's cities.

The huts will go on sale in Japan next year.

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