Mini Living: Breathable Cylindrical Home Slots Into a Tiny Alleyway

Extending beyond the existing rooftops like a fast-growing
plant, this compact cylindrical home slotted into an unused
urban plot in Milan features a breathable ‘skin’ connecting the
interiors to the outdoors. Designed by New York-based
for Milan Design Week 2017, the MINI LIVING ‘Breathe’
installation is a response to the growing challenge to maximize
available space in cities to comfortably accommodate more

Built on a modular metal frame covered with a flexible,
semi-translucent envelope that reacts organically to the
environment, the home was designed for a family of three, and
features six rooms and a lush rooftop garden. The ground floor
is transparent to encourage interaction with the world outside;
climb the spiraling staircase and you’ll find a series of
private spaces for relaxation, work and sleeping, all separated
by fabric canopies.

The outer skin lets in filtered sunlight, while the rooftop
garden collects rainwater and helps filter the city air.
Hammock-like nets suspended from the upper levels look out onto
both the city outside and the interiors below. The architects
describe the skin as a ‘jacket’ that can be zipped and arranged
differently to protect against various external conditions. The
more you layer it, the more privacy or water resistance it
offers, so inhabitants can customize the needs of different

The idea, in part, was to ‘tune’ the interiors to the rhythms
of the city, the weather and the sun outside, eliminating the
closed-off feel that many homes tend to have. While the
tent-like design may not be viable for many urban centers where
cold weather, rain and theft might be a problem, it’s an
intriguing idea for layering with more solid and secure
materials like glass.

Add Comment