Johannesburg architect Clara da Cruz Almeida and design duo Dokter and Misses have collaborated on a project that takes eco-styling to its zenith. The result, called POD-idladla, is a prefab nano-home that measures a mere 17m2 of enclosed space.
Although it’s a fairly tricky business involving transport, the prefabricated POD is mobile and can be assembled on site, which means you can change locations without ever losing your home. Additional PODs can also be added in various configurations as your living needs change or finances improve.
In keeping with its environmental ethos the POD is entirely designed and manufactured in South Africa, and its size alone makes it enormously energy efficient in comparison to the average apartment or house. ‘The idea was to design something small, but small doesn’t have to mean bad. We wanted to ensure the best possible use of the space, while providing maximum luxury,’ says Clara. ‘We can learn to live without all these excess things and minimise our impact on the earth. It’s about making life simpler.’
The result is a clean triangular structure with an upstairs loft area (accessed by stepladder) for sleeping. The downstairs section contains a neat kitchen and living area, while the small passage ingeniously doubles as an open shower. Natural light floods in from a circular window upstairs and a concertina door connects the space with a covered outdoor deck.
Ergonomic interior design is paramount to ease of living in the POD and here Dokter and Misses came up with a series of considered design interventions, with furnishings, such as table tops and even a small sofa, that fold out as needed. Furthermore, the bed upstairs has a neat retractable side table.
‘The main thing was to create maximum storage, so we brought the storage elements all the way up to the top,’ explains Katy Taplin of Dokter and Misses. White dominates the space with small bursts of colour to add interest.
‘We didn’t want it to feel like a Wendy house, so it was important not to have too many cute elements. We wanted a calm space, with an airy holiday feel,’ says Katy.
Originally published HL March 2015