Tiny Tuesday: Housing, Un Poco

A team of Italian architects created a small inexpensive shelter that assembles in 6-7 hours. Called the M.A.DI. (Modulo Abitativo Dispiegabile, meaning “deployable housing module”), the system is erected with the help of a crane and can be disassembled just as quickly. Compared to a tiny house on wheels, it takes a bit more logistical planning to collapse and move a M.A.DI., but it’s designed in the same spirit. Units may include electrical, plumbing, and drain connectivity.

The basic M.A.DI. is a single module that provides about 27 square meters (270 square feet) of living space on two levels. One may combine any number of modules by erecting them side-by-side. The house requires only level ground on site, no foundation, although the designers do suggest anchoring the house with screw piles if it’s a permanent installation. Stability concerns are addressed through a somewhat cryptic note that the building is “certified as seismically safe”.


Assembling a M.A.DI.

The house is an A-frame in form, so the steep pitched roof doubles as the entire structural system. No interior loadbearing walls are required – not even, it appears, to support the second floor. Thus, the homebuyer can choose any floor plan that fits the interior (M.A.DI. provides a few suggestions for each size) and any material for the end walls, even a full glass curtainwall. A module can optionally include a skylight in the roof for additional natural light.


Sample two-story floor plan for three modules.

According to this article on curbed, pricing begins at 28,000 euro or about US$33,000 for a one-module house with basic finishes. It’s not clear how utility hookups are accomplished or whether the structure comes insulated; these factors would likely add to the cost. Getting permission to actually live in one is an exercise left to the buyer.

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