Tim Pyne’s m-house: A tale of two halves [prefab]

This is m-house in it’s natural habitat; a bit of useless waste ground which costs virtually nothing to rent. If planners could get their heads round the idea that you don’t have to wreck the environment to provide housing, there are thousands of sites in the UK like this which could be made into homes.

Tim Pyne's m-house

We’re not sure what to call it: is it a classy caravan or an ultra-chic pad with wheels? The distinction is the m-house’s raison d’etre and it’s greatest obstacle. Tim Pyne wanted a house on a bit of Essex estuary but was told he could only have a mobile home. Something on wheels, below a certain size, which arrives on site in no more than two big pieces. The planning laws do not, however, say that it had to be flimsy or look tacky so, together with Michael Howe of mae architects, he has produced a 2-bedroom, 900 sq foot designer home that is totally complete and can be assembled in a day with minimal planning permission.

m-house living area

‘This gives a good idea of the space in the living area. A lot of people try to plan homes into shells which are 3 meters wide, and frankly, it doesn’t work – it feels miserable. Someone needs to tell our housebuilders that. Do you know they actually make special 90% scale furniture for show homes to make them look bigger? Incredible.’

Read the rest of the m-house feature on sprks.com

Words & Photos: © 2011 Ken Sparkes. First published June 2006. All Rights Reserved