Millennials are not the only people seeking out tiny or smaller homes. Older, especially frailer, or more vulnerable members of society are also feeling the tug of simpler living. Unfortunately, the idyllic tiny house with a ladder and loft tucked away in the woods is not the most beneficial to these people.
Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, is hoping to tap into the multigenerational community concept that is popular in Japan and Scandinavia. His design, the Minka home is a modular building system that is completely adaptable to various ages and abilities. “Minka” means “a house for regular people” in Japanese. The simple design of Minka is based on research into human complexity and decades of input that confirm that many mature people want compact homes that are easier to care for.
The Minka prototype studio features a living area, kitchen, and ADA bathroom.
Designed by Thomas and Ax Jensen & Goehring Architects in Denmark and made partially in upstate New York the Minka uses state-of-the-art technology. CNC routers are used to shape plywood into a post-and-beam system with customizable infill panels. This allows for minimal waste and quick construction. Size, layout and interior and exterior finishes can be customized and the entire home can be assembled in about three days.
Minka homes are cut with CNC routers and assembled in about 3 days.
A 330 square foot Minka studio with a bathroom and complete kitchen can be designed and delivered to any location for about $100,000. This excludes any final site work or finishing costs. Transportation and zoning/planning costs also vary per location.
Photos by Minka