A little cabin designed by Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop for Vitra has just been installed on a hill between the VitraHaus and the Dome at VitraCampus in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Described as Vitra's smallest building, Diogene is definitely its largest product. Drawing its name from the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who is believed to have made his own home inside a barrel because he considered luxury to be superfluous, at just 2 metres square Diogene is living 'under-sized' and distinctly Japanese in scale, with enough room for a small table, a chair and a bed/sofa, a bathroom, a skylight above, solar panels, and views over the surrounding meadow.

The idea for Diogene is well timed. It reminds us of the opportunities that smaller spaces provide, the way that architecture can quietly sit within its surrounding context, in the city or the country, the freedom of small over big and the multi-layered possibilities of use: a tiny home / workshop / studio and granny flat rolled into one.

Here is the interview with Renzo Piano by Designboom. For the full article on Diogene, visit Vitra here. Diogene is now open for visitors at the VitraCampus.