Standing at only 5m by 2.5m, the size of a parking space, this tiny three-storey house has been valued at £160,000 by one of the Midlands’ biggest estate agents.
The house arrived in Birmingham on April 5 as a way to highlight the dependency we have on cars and the amount of space that is wasted by having thousands of them sat unused for most of the day.
Taking cars off the streets is top of the agenda for Whim founder Sampo Hietanen and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street who backed the initiative.
“On average, cars are parked up unused for about 96% of their lifetime – but we still have pay for them, sometimes in conjunction with other transport options too.
“Owning a car is actually a burden for many people but there’s been no realistic alternative until now.”
Brought over from Helsinki by new travel app Whim, in partnership with Helsinki Design Week and Artek, the home has already been viewed by thousands.
Jaspal Dhillon, boss of Places Birmingham, said the award-winning ‘Tikku’ house, which has taken up residence in the city’s Brindleyplace, would make a fantastic home.
Jaspal said: “The house has certainly created a lot of buzz in the area.
“Birmingham is already something of a property hot-spot but this house would be one of the most desirable given its clever use of space.
“The top floor is particularly cool – it brings the outside in with its full glazing and gives unrivalled views of the city.
“Planners take note – we need more clever design and better use of space!”
The award-winning Whim app, which dovetails with the Swift travel card, delivers smart travel solutions which enable people to use the right mode of transport for the right journey.
National Express, Gett, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, nextbike and other transport providers have already signed up to the scheme with others lined up to get involved.
With thousands of studios and one-bed apartments coming onto the market in the West Midlands without access to a parking space, Jaspal said Whim are making more sense than ever.
Sampo explained: “We have developments of 1,000 flats coming to market with just 100 parking spaces, so increasingly cars are being airbrushed out of the equation.”
“There needs to be some real thought about how we want to live in our cities. Birmingham is an incredibly vibrant location and is in high demand. We definitely want more solutions like the Tikku house.”
“We like cars, we’re certainly not anti-car, and we still offer access to cars when needed, via taxis or through hire.
“But we are showing people that they don’t need to be so reliant on car ownership. Once people realise this, the benefits are huge – less traffic, less pollution, less stressful journeys, more space in our towns and cities thanks to fewer cars parked on the road.
“We’re confident the West Midlands is a great place for us to launch Whim for the first time outside Finland.
“We’ve been very positively received, and it’s been very clear from the start that the area is dynamic and open to partnership working and innovation.”