A very tiny house designed by a Finnish architect and put on display in Birmingham, UK, has been given a notional value of £170,000 by a local realtor.
The three-story "Tikku House", designed by Marco Casagrande and unveiled last year at Helsinki Design Week, was set up in the city’s Brindleyplace last week on 5 April as part of a publicity campaign by a Finnish car-busting transportation app called Whim.
At just 5m long by 2.5m wide, the house could almost fit on a standard British parking space (4.8m x 2.4m), the idea being to move people into city spaces now occupied by private cars.
For a monthly fee the Whim app organises and funds a person’s journeys using the best combination of available public transportation modes, including rented bikes, cars and taxis, all to make it easier not owning a car.
The top floor is an enclosed greenhouse-garden room
The Tikku House prototype now on display at Brindleyplace comprises a cross-laminated timber module for each of the three, one-room floors, and can be assembled in a few hours.
An enclosed garden-greenhouse space sits atop a bedroom area, which sits on the kitchen-living level, with the three floors connected by a narrow spiral staircase.
The architect Casagrande’s vision is that the house is self-sufficient, needing no connection to utilities. It would have dry toilets and solar panels. Residents would bring in fresh water, and find laundromats for washing clothes.
It requires no foundation, the bottom being weighted with sand, according to the architect.
"Tikku is a safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism," says the literature, "a contemporary cave for a modern urban nomad. It will offer privacy, safety and comfort. All the rest of the functions can be found in the surrounding city.
"Tikku is a needle of urban acupuncture, conquering the no-man’s land from the cars and tuning the city towards the organic. Many Tikkus can grow side-by-side like mushrooms and they can fuse into larger organisms."
The exhibition in Birmingham has received 5,000 visitors so far, and one local realtor responded enthusiastically, saying the Tikku House could fetch up to £170,000 if he were selling it.
"The house has certainly created a lot of buzz in the area," said Jaspal Dhillon, head of estate agent of Places Birmingham.
"Birmingham is already something of a property hot-spot but this house would be one of the most desirable given its clever use of space. The top floor is particularly cool – it brings the outside in with its full glazing and gives unrivalled views of the city.
"Planners take note – we need more clever design and better use of space!"
Each floor is connected by a narrow spiral staircase
The Birmingham Tikku House exhibition is being used to launch the Whim app outside Finland for the first time.
"On average, cars are parked up unused for about 96 percent of their lifetime," said Whim founder Sampo Hietanen, "but we still have pay for them, sometimes in conjunction with other transport options too. Owning a car is actually a burden for many people but there’s been no realistic alternative until now."
While there is no functional link between Whim and Tikku House, realtor Jaspal Dhillon welcomed fresh thinking on cars in the urban space represented by the exhibition.
"We have developments of 1,000 flats coming to market with just 100 parking spaces, so increasingly cars are being airbrushed out of the equation," he said.
"There needs to be some real thought about how we want to live in our cities. Birmingham is an incredibly vibrant location and is in high demand. We definitely want more solutions like the Tikku house."
Top image: The Tikku House on display at Brindleyplace in Birmingham (All images courtesy of Whim)