Starting with a simple question—"What would you do with less"—architects Rodrigo Alegre and Carlos Acosta of STUDIOROCA have devised a groundbreaking line of prefab homes made from repurposed shipping containers. Outfitted with environmentally friendly materials and smart home automation systems, their VMD (Vivienda Minima de Descanso) residences offer a "no-fuss, low-cost building solution."
"Homes usually require maintenance and involve a lot of expenses," says Acosta. "This is what an ‘escape’ is all about—being free of all those hassles of maintaining a second home, but still having a weekend getaway where you really can enjoy your time."
The customizable prefab homes can be constructed in a factory in Mexico in a little over three months, and then installed in just seven days with minimal site impact.
Customers can choose from three VMD models: a 320-square-foot one-bedroom unit, a 640-square-foot two-bedroom unit, or a 640-square-foot three-bedroom unit. The base one-bedroom unit is available for a starting price of approximately $49,100—not including site prep and delivery.
Finishes, appliances, and a home automation system are included in all units. Customers can also request add-ons such as an exterior deck and off-grid capability—including a solar rooftop system, rainwater collection, and an incinerator toilet.
The VMD recently debuted at Design Week Mexico in October. A show model was temporarily installed in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, and it was entirely furnished with pieces by Mexican designers. In presenting the VMD, the architects have emphasized Mexican design and construction—from the inclusion of local craftspeople for the prefabrication process to the selection of Mexican brands for the eco-friendly finishes and appliances.
Orders for VMD from North and Central America can be placed online through the architects’ newly formed firm, Taller Escape.
"VMD is an invitation to find a balance between daily life and weekend escapes, and come into contact with nature—Mexico is a country famous for its biodiversity and its unparalleled landscapes," reads a statement on Taller Escape’s website.