Wed, Aug 09, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Tiny residences, libraries and cafes

Architects, refugees team up to build a ‘microvillage’ in Berlin in a project that explores innovative ways for compact and affordable living

AFP, Berlin

“I hope I can get a job doing this,” said Fadi.

Party for 13

At a warehouse area in southern Berlin, another member of the team, Noam Goldstein, is fitting insulation into one of the 20 tiny houses.

His version of the small home would feature not just the usual trappings of an apartment, but also include solar panels, a compost toilet and a hydroponics garden.

The carpenter expects material cost for the house to run between NT$428,000 and NT$535,000.

While some components like windows have to be purchased, Goldstein said much of the wood used is recycled pallet wood.

“When you look at the financial aspect, it provides a very cheap way for people to build their own house,” said Goldstein.

Researcher Amelie Salameh, who was among the initial ones to try out the first of the 20 tiny houses overnight, is a convert.

Measuring just six square meters, the first tiny house built by Le-Mentzel himself for the project is a self-contained unit with a living room, kitchen, sleeping area, toilet and shower.

“The way it was designed, there were mirrors, a lot of light, I never felt trapped inside,” said Salameh, who lived in the house called Tiny100 for three weeks.

She even had two friends sleep over for a night, and once also hosted a visit of 13 people.

“We had a few beers, it was fun,” she said, adding that “you just have to think about where you’re putting your stuff, and to tidy up constantly, because the place gets full quickly.”

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