This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

Tiny Homes

With Australian house prices currently experiencing inexplicable growth, more Australians than ever before are being priced out of the traditional property market. Meanwhile, many of us have also found ourselves working from home over the past year…  so it’s no surprise Australia is seeing an uptick in alternative housing solutions.

Among them is Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings developed by FABPREFAB, designed by TRIAS architects, and constructed using CLT (cross laminated timber). 

The project is available in multiple configurations, to serve as either a home office, living space, bedroom, or entire tiny house. It’s one of the only architect-designed, modular tiny houses on the market in Australia, and can be built to order in as little as 12 weeks!

2nd March, 2021

Minima is a series of prefabricated small dwellings created by FABPREFAB, and designed by TRIAS. Photo – Clinton Weaver

The project is available in multiple configurations to serve as either a home office, living space, bedroom, or entire tiny house. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Minima’s smartest design feature is its inherent flexibility: a single module can be joined into a dual configuration, without changing the essential design. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Options include those with a kitchen and bathroom. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Minima is built from locally manufactured CLT (cross laminated timber) – sustainable timbers that are laminated into large panels. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Other materials used in Minima include cypress, Victorian ash timber veneers and porcelain tiles, which feature in the kitchen and bathroom. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Minima is most suitable for three key demographics: existing home owners seeking added breathing space; those interested in a permanent, architect-designed tiny house; and accommodation operators. Photo – Clinton Weaver

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 2nd March 2021

‘This is a vision we believe in wholeheartedly, and one we hope will change the way we build in Australia.’ – Jennifer McMaster

When designing and building a new house in Australia, there are currently very few options between mass-produced plans, and architect-designed bespoke projects. For those who can’t afford the latter, or are seeking something more considered than the former, Minima is an attractive alternative.

The project is the brainchild of prefabrication and modular residential construction company FABPREFAB, who collaborated with Sydney based TRIAS architects based on their Slate Cabin design – a 13 square metre hiking cabin built in Snowdonia National Park in Wales. The brief was to create a similarly compact dwelling that fits standard trucking widths (for transportation).

Trias initially began designing a one-bedroom ‘garden apartment’, looking internationally for inspiration. ‘We looked at all kinds of global examples, ranging from micro-apartments in New York to luxury cabins in Scandinavia. These spaces taught us the importance of flexible planning and attention to detail,’ says Jennifer McMaster, principal at Trias. ‘The best examples also used very few materials, a technique which makes small spaces feel unified and calm.’

The practice were keen to avoid the stereotypical ‘prefab look’, which Jennifer says is often characterised by small openings, standard materials, and cheap detailing.

As demand for a wider range of products was realised, Minima expanded to include larger two-module options, and other configurations. The completed project is now available in six arrangements ranging from 24.5 square metres (including spare bedrooms, home offices, and all-inclusive tiny houses) and larger, standalone dwellings of 72 square metres.

All Minima projects have been designed in harmony, meaning a single module can be joined into a dual configuration, without changing the essential design. ‘Similarly, the plumbing points for kitchens and bathrooms always stay in the same spot, which makes construction more streamlined,’ Jennifer says.

Jennifer envisions Minima as most suitable for three key demographics: existing home owners seeking added breathing space; those interested in a permanent, architect-designed tiny house; and accommodation operators.

Prices for Minima start at around $130,000 and stretch to $250,000 (excluding site specific costs, such as approvals, delivery and service connections) depending on size and layout. Dwellings are constructed using CLT manufactured by XLam in their Wodonga factory; can be built in as little as 12 weeks; and delivered Australia-wide.

As Minima dwellings are more affordable than most conventional architectural builds, Jennifer hopes they will provide a viable housing alternative for design-conscious consumers.

‘Minima is our chance, as architects, to offer good, progressive and sustainable design to more people,’ Jennifer says. ‘This is a vision we believe in wholeheartedly, and one we hope will change the way we build in Australia.’

This Week

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the
Lucy Feagins
  16 hours ago

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Sustainable Homes

A Zero-Waste, Two Bedroom Home In The Middle Of Melbourne’s Federation Square!

Anti-waste crusader Joost Bakker takes us inside the culmination of his life’s work - a completely non-toxic, self-sufficient home!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The New Architect-Designed Tiny Home You Can Actually Buy

Grimshaw Architects has joined forces with Kids Under Cover to create a flat-pack micro house, with all proceeds going to support kids facin...
Elle Murrell

Tiny Homes

A Tiny Handmade Home Built By A Father-Daughter Duo!

With home ownership out of reach for Camilla Walker, she and her dad Patrick hand-built this tiny one-bedroom home at the bottom of the fami...
Sasha Gattermayr

This Week

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the
Lucy Feagins
  16 hours ago

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

Similar Stories

Sustainable Homes

A Zero-Waste, Two Bedroom Home In The Middle Of Melbourne’s Federation Square!

Anti-waste crusader Joost Bakker takes us inside the culmination of his life’s work.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The New Architect-Designed Tiny Home You Can Actually Buy

Grimshaw Architects has joined forces with Kids Under Cover to create a flat-pack micro house.
Elle Murrell

Tiny Homes

A Tiny Handmade Home Built By A Father-Daughter Duo!

With home ownership out of reach for Camilla Walker, she and her dad Patrick hand-built this tiny one-bedroom home at the bottom of the fami...
Sasha Gattermayr

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.