Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Los Angeles based architects FreelandBuck was commissioned to design a new site-specific installation for MINI Living at the 2018 Los Angeles Design Festival, and it looks delicious. The micro home prototype was installed on a rooftop at ROW DTLA, with a magnificent view of the vibrant city, and it is the first of MINI’s commissioned installations to actually house overnight guests. 

The Urban Cabin is a continuous installation project and was first launched by the car brand in 2016. It’s a small living unit that travels to various locations across the world, reinvented for each city by local architects. Each cabin is designed with limited space and inspired by local surroundings, demonstrating creative approaches to the challenge of saving space while creating unique identities. 


The Los Angeles Urban Cabin is formed by two pre-designed outer residential sections that flank a central ‘experience’ space design by FreelandBuck. Though the micro-cabin as a residential building typically focuses on efficiency within a small space, the LA prototype expands the cabin’s domestic purpose to include a more public space which enhances collective experience rather than focusing on just the needs of one occupant.

And the cabin is as gorgeous as it is functional. The three-dimensional graphic surfaces vary between graphic alignment and kaleidoscopic effects as one moves around and through them. The indoor/outdoor quality created by the translucent skin is accentuated by a hanging garden which forms a another cubic volume suspended from the enclosure.

The MINI LIVING program is meant to inspire conversation about new models for living in a more dense, compact and resource efficient world.