The third version of the project sponsored by the Germany-based automobile brand was installed on a rooftop at the ROW DTLA development in downtown L.A. as part of the L.A. Design Festival last weekend. New York and Los Angeles-based architecture firm FreelandBuck was selected to partner with MINI on adapting the core “experience space” of the compact, white metal-clad structure. Other elements were envisioned to respond to the city’s particular design and current cultural context.
Printed graphics applied to polycarbonate panels provide a playful element that incorporate varying transparency, and contrast with the aluminum framing of the 160 square-foot (approximately 15 square meters) structure. These materials offer mass market availability, practicality, and creative opportunity. “The structure is conventional metal stud framing, but instead of concealing it, we multiplied it, first adding a second rotated frame and then the image of a third frame projected through the layers of structure”, the team explained in a statement.
Openings in the roof integrate hanging live plants as a reference to the theme “Grow,” and also help provoke dialogue about how residential design in Los Angeles can incorporate the city’s unique proximity to nature. The spaces on either side maximize efficiency and creative flexibility, with details such as the daybed that slides in and out of the exterior wall to make more room if needed. Shades of turquoise and pink reflect — perhaps somewhat ironically — the city’s image as a place of perpetual optimism.
The first two versions of the MINI Living Urban Cabin debuted last fall at the London Design Festival and the at A/D/O in Brooklyn, New York, also in collaboration with local design firms from each city. More are to come this year in major metropolises
Photo credits © Laurian Ghinitoiu