While backpacking overseas I've stayed in some truly dirty and cramped hostels, and I never really minded; my rationale was always that I'd be spending the day outside anyway, and the only time I'd be in the crappy hostel would be when I was unconscious.
With his Paco Cube, architect Nagasaka Hisashi of the Schemata Architecture Office also realizes that you don't need a lot of space on certain vacations, but he does me one better by making that tiny space beautiful. The Paco Cube is a vacation house done up in white epoxy, and the tiny (3-meter-square) structure contains all of the essentials and then some: "A kitchen, shower, toilet, sleeping hammock, desk and lighting." Not to mention the top pops open like a jack-in-the-box.
The details of the space would make the curators of MoMA's prefab exhibition proud: the roof unlatches with hydraulic lifts (strong enough to hold the hammock when the hatch is open); sheer yet waterproof fabric encases the shower; the kitchen includes a tiny door to the outside for barbecuing; and the skylight and two LED 60 watt light fixtures keep things nice and green.
While I'd definitely prefer Nagasaka's structure to some of the mite-infested hovels I've slept in, most I ever spent was twenty bucks a night. The Paco House will set you back 6,300,000 Yen, or US $64,483--I could spend almost nine years in Hanoi on that kinda bread!
Hit the jump to see shots of the amazing interior.