Estonia-based company MuuwSpace has introduced its first prefabricated tiny cabin Muuw, designed to be transportable and easily assembled within a couple of days.
Compact but functional, Muuw has a total building area of 15 square metres and is shaped in a hexagonal form which offers a private workspace, creative studio, or relaxation room. The idea sprung from the concept of a ‘seclusion cabin’ and evolved into this hot dip galvanised steel structure, which is also sustainably built using mineral wool sandwich panels, aluminium, and recyclable façade panels.
Designed to be used throughout the year, it is sufficiently insulated and can be assembled, transported, and delivered in the UK and throughout Europe.
Intrigued? So were we… so, we took the opportunity to talk to Tommy Truup, co-founder of MuuwSpace, to find out more about the design and build, and he tells us what the future ambitions for the cabin are…
Where did the idea for the name Muuw come from?
The name Muuw came to us when my wife and I were hiking and discussing possible names for the cabin. Suddenly we heard a loud “moo” next to the bushes, and there it was – a cow giving us the answer to our question about the company name!
MUUW refers to how the pronunciation of the English word ‘move’ is written in Estonian language. Everything in this world is constantly moving, even a rock – although visually still – has its crystal structures vibrating on a micro level. So the word ‘move’ would express one of the most universal property of our world: if something moves, then it exists, and vice versa.
What inspired you to develop the hexagonal form of the cabin?
The central idea was to create a space for focusing and being with yourself. The environment, meaning the cabin itself, must support you in this. Hexagon is a perfect symmetrical form, and with you in the middle of it, it resembles singularity. As if you are in the centre of your own universe. No distractions, nothing else. Hexagon is also a very unique form, because can be found in the nature almost everywhere: from bee hives to carbon structures in human cells, to composition of snowflakes.
Also, this shape creates a feeling of a larger space. We wanted to avoid a ‘box’ feeling. Hexagon kind of eliminates corners, makes the room more open and lets the energies and ideas flow. Also it allows to make the front half of the cabin fully from glass, so that when you are in the centre of it, you have a full 180-degree view to the surrounding nature and you can almost forget that you are indoors.
Can you talk us through the material palette for the cabin?
As a lot of manufacturers use wood in their structure, we decided to differ. The structure of Muuw is made of welded hot dip galvanised steel, insulated with mineral wool sandwich panels, all of which are environmentally friendly and recyclable.
Glass window walls are used in the front half of the Muuw to fill the cabin with light and to let the outdoor environment visually flow through the room. We use Saint-Gobain Climaplus STB insulated glazing with metallic blue external reflection. This glass is a good choice for maintaining privacy and good solar control. The glazing and the aluminium composite panels used on the exterior façade are customisable, with mirror glass and a choice of colours available.
What significant role does the roof play in the architecture?
The roof is covered with the same semi-glossy black aluminium composite panels as the façade, so that the black sleek exterior look stays the same and uniform from all viewing angles, including from the air.
We are currently working on a solution to turn all the exterior façade and roof into a solar panel, so that the Muuw cabin could produce renewable energy for its own use. This will be done by using a unique Estonian-made system, where the solar panel material is integrated into the load-bearing sheet material. The external design of Muuw will remain almost the same, as the solar panels are also black.
How long does the cabin take to build and what’s included?
To install the prefab cabin on site, it takes 1-2 days; it takes around 300 hours to build one pre-fabricated Muuw.
In standard version, the interior is equipped with electric sockets in the walls and also a floor socket for computer and displays, dimmable ceiling lights, speed controllable ventilation, floor heating, and an A/C module, and the electrical circuit breaker box. Wall-integrated speakers are also available as an option.
The current available model has 8.9m2 (95 sq. ft) inside floor area. It doesn’t have a bathroom and kitchen, however we are planning to develop this model further to offer the possibility to order it with a bathroom.
Why was it important to create a strong connection to the outdoors?
Nature is inspiring, calming, and just beautiful. We wanted to integrate nature, or outdoor environment, into the Muuw Space experience and to create a feeling that the surrounding nature continues into the room.
You could say that Muuw only starts to work when it’s placed so that its windows are directed towards nature: a sea or a lake, fields, forest, view from a mountain to distance. However, it can also be a man-made environment, for example installed on a rooftop with an aerial view to the bustling city, or even placed on ground level with a view to a busy street. Muuw has a good sound insulation, so the lively street scene becomes an interesting ambient backdrop to your work session.
Can you tell us more about the outdoor deck and screen?
The outdoor terrace and slatted screen come in a choice of two woods, either thermo treated ash or pressure treated pine. Design-wise we found that the wooden deck completes the exterior look of the Muuw (which could otherwise look a bit too blocky), bridging the hexagonal main part to the landscape and also providing balancing contrast with the sleek black finish of the hexagonal part.
From the point of view of user experience and perception of the space, the exterior deck is a physical connection between the Muuw interior and the outdoors, whereas the large window-walls are the visual connection. As the internal space of the cabin continues to the semi-enclosed terrace, which is already filled with some elements of the nature, it provides a smooth transition between indoors and outdoors when entering and exiting the cabin. This intermediary space also creates a sense of safety and privacy when looking from the inside, and a welcoming atmosphere, when looking from the outside.
Photography by Raido Nurk.
Prices for a Muuw prefab cabin start from around £34,000, with delivery and installation available across Europe (including UK, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland). You can order online from muuwspace.com.