The Eye

This Minimalist Prefab House Looks Like It’s Levitating

The MIMA Light is a Portuguese prefab house that appears to levitate.

While mirrored houses, hotels, and other structures have been around for years and lately appear to be popping up everywhere, Portuguese prefab home design company MIMA has used the concept of mirror cladding to add a clever optical illusion to MIMA Light, the company’s smallest, most streamlined building. Thanks to its mirrored base, the modular structure seems to float.

José Campos

The designers write in a project description that the MIMA Light structure is “inspired by the minimalist sculpture of artists such as Donald Judd, John McCracken and Robert Morris,” adding that they designed the exterior to resemble “a sober and sharp object [that] can be appreciated from any angle—so light that it seems to levitate.”

José Campos

Interior designers and enterprising DIY-ers have long used this simple trick to lighten the visual impact of ponderous blocks of domestic infrastructure such as bulky kitchen islands, cladding their bases in judiciously placed strips of mirror (and sometimes hidden down-lighting) for a hovering trompe l’oeil effect.

José Campos

The same principle applies to the streamlined silhouette of the MIMA Light, adding a transformative detail to what could otherwise be considered nothing more than a sleek rectangular box.

MIMA

Designed for use as temporary or permanent housing, office space, or commercial use, MIMA Light has a customizable interior and is designed at an accessible price point that varies depending on finishes (but starts at around $48,000).

MIMA

The designers have developed a flexible prefab building process that allows them to tailor the structure according to individual site specifications and climate conditions.

To see the pine-clad interior of the house, visit MIMA’s website. Or check out the video below for a glimpse of a MIMA Light prototype located in Portugal.