MIMA is not just a house
PORTUGAL - MIMA is an idea conceived by Marta Brandão and Mário Costa, two young Portuguese architects currently working in Switzerland. Their ideological ambition was to create a concept of space 'for the quick life changes and ambitions of a well informed and increasingly exigent society'. To answer this premise, MIMA had to accomplish the difficult task of being flexible, fast produced, cheap and, at the same time, to be a good quality product with an appealing design and eye-catching image.
This 'dwelling' also tries to respond to an idea of the democratization of the house as an architectonic object. Conceptually and formally speaking, it was important for the architects to retain this idea of the house as an object, because this was probably the only way the architects could achieve their goals – by interpreting this project in an abstract manner, as if they were designing a chair, a car or any other gadget.
Prefabrication, which is, according to Brandão and Costa, the only way to achieve a quick and cheap product, implies a complete control of detailing and leaves no room for on-site changes. But even with this necessary standardization, the architects wanted to create a modular system that permits the owners to quickly redesign its interior by simply creating new partitions to close an open space, or by changing around the plywood panels with colour options on the reverse for a shift of ambience.
In fact, the entire process of construction and acquisition of the product implies decisions made by the owners at a very early stage. Once a site has been determined, they should decide on the parameters of the exterior and interior divisions and final appearance, based upon their individual needs, with a 3D-interface that they can find on the website
. Afterwards, a 1:50 scale model and specifications book representing their selections will be mailed to them for approval. Following that, the entire package will be delivered on site.
April | 2012 | Portugal | Carlos M. Guimarães