10 Incredible Pop-Up Homes


We’d love to live in centuries-old, grand palaces and stunning theaters, but in an Ikea universe where economic hurdles have forced us to be creative with fewer resources, pop-up living is a necessity. It’s also a chance to take control of urban space and transform it into a contemporary oasis where individual enterprise and community spirit shine. Other pop-up solutions endorse efficiency — as is the case with a pop-up apartment we recently spotted on Design You Trust. We’ve featured it, along with other pop-up homes, past the break. Each temporary architectural solution channels the low-cost, diverse, highly creative, and supremely pragmatic mantra of pop-up life. Take a closer look in our gallery.

Secret Pop-Up Living Space

Who needs all that pesky furniture in an 861-square-foot apartment? The Yo! Home says you don’t, and the designers have created a pop-up solution for the small-scale space. Rather than trying to stuff furniture into your cramped, overpriced pad, Yo! allows you to operate movable, mechanical pieces that open up to reveal secret spaces and places to hang. This bed, for example, disappears into the ceiling and unveils a sunken living room area.

Pop-Up Ikea Apartment in Paris Metro

IKEA France hosted a unique contest that allowed people to win an evening in a pop-up apartment, furnished by the Scandinavian company. Several folks got the chance to live like guinea pigs inside the Metro Auber station in Paris. Ikea created a cozy living space with only 581 square feet at their disposal to show people that modest living is entirely possible.

Mini Pop-Up Apartment or Playroom

Architects don’t complain when their kids throw toys around their stunning, contemporary house situated on the Argentinean plains. Instead, they just build a pop-up room – which is essentially an apartment for little ones. It’s like the best fort, ever! You could use architect Diego Arraigada’s Room House for just about anything — including a studio or temporary bedroom for guests. The recycled wood structure unfolds and is assembled without glue or screws so it can be quickly collapsed. See more photos over here.

Pop-Up Bachelor Pad

We’re totally in love with Christian Schallert’s Lego-style apartment that features pop-up amenities and entire rooms. Everything is spring loaded, movable, and tucked away until he’s ready to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom. His 258-square-foot Barcelona abode doesn’t provide enough space to showcase everything, so he hides his custom-built furniture in the remodeled pigeon loft. Watch this fun video of Schallert’s apartment in action. So cute.

Inflatable Pop-Up Apartment

Company Airclad calls their pop-up structures “the next generation of semi-permanent and permanent architectural buildings developed by Inflate.” Basically, their inflatable rooms and apartments use an airflow system that keeps the temporary structures erected. When not in use, they pack down to about a 40-inch package that can be easily transported. This particular inflatable was used for a London office, but Airclad creates prefabricated structures for just about any living situation. They cost $30,500, but if you need a spare room and want to keep things green and easy, the Airclad might be worth the money.

Pop-Up Apartment in a Box

If you’re the kind of minimalist who wants to live in an empty cube devoid of all distraction, then the Atelier Graff is right for you. Designer Rainer Graff loves loft living, but feels like the whole point of an open space is to maintain flexibility and live cleanly. He created an apartment in a box that opens up when you need it. See how it works in this video.

Interlocking Pop-Up House

Perhaps the most elaborate pop-up home on our list, but still completely portable and flexible in every way, Michael Jantzen’s M-House can be broke down and put back together again anywhere in the world. Brad Pitt almost bought the recyclable structure. “He backed down when he thought he was going to have problems placing it onto a specific property,” Jantzen told Co.Design. The modular system made of interlocking cubes allows you to create any desired living space. You’re only limited by your imagination. Here’s a video showing how it all comes together.

Push-Button Pop-Up Home

Adam Kalkin’s push-button houses do exactly what they advertise. He transforms industrial shipping crates and other commercial forms into houses you can live in. One moment, your loft looks like the set of a Saw film. The next moment, that cruddy shipping container reveals a warm and cozy apartment. There’s a little video demo of one of Kalkin’s models over here.

Pop-Up Tube Home

If you’re the kind of person who is never home due to work or old-fashioned ADD, Dutch company Tube4all knows exactly what you need. Their compact, cylindrical living quarters are ten feet long and seven feet wide, providing enough space to eat and sleep (the table converts into a bed). If you subsist on take-out food, then a kitchen is pretty pointless. Warmth is necessary, however, and the unit comes with it’s own heater. You also get two outlets in the lightweight, temporary home that can pop-up anywhere you please. It’s ideal for camping or as a transitory apartment. Let us know when you find the bathroom.

Paper Pop-Up Village for Earthquake Victims in Japan

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is known for his innovative and amazing structures made entirely of paper. He’s a genius with recycled cardboard tubes and stretched paper roofs, and he put his talents to good use when he created a village of pop-up homes for victims of several earthquakes in Japan. The foundation was built from donated beer crates, weighted with sandbags. He used his trademark tubes for the walls and tenting tarp for the roof, while waterproof sponge was fastened with adhesive between the paper tubes for insulation. Each recyclable unit cost under $2,000 to make.