Former Office Reimagined as a Cozy Micro Apartment

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Living in a small space is not for everyone, especially when it comes to living in densely populated urban areas. With a towable tiny house, you can park it anywhere and have as much nature and space around it as you wish, but in an apartment you’re pretty much stuck where you are.

But the current state of the market is such that city dwellings are very expensive, and more and more people who do not want to move to the country are opting to live in micro apartments. When designing such spaces, maximizing the available space is of the utmost importance, and the Danish firm Studiomama did an awesome job in that regard with this former mini-cab office, which they turned into a cozy home.

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The space was bought at an auction and measures 139 sq ft (13 sq m). The designers then set out to turn it into an apartment with the aim of proving that with clever solutions even such a small space can become a comfortable home. The achieved this by installing seamless walls which hide the storage areas, and give the sense of spaciousness. They were inspired by boat design in coming up with this solution. They also placed mirrors along one of the walls, as well as in the kitchen, which further adds to the illusion of this being a larger space than it actually is. Since this apartment has so little floorspace they integrated all that was needed into the built-in furniture.

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The home features a dining nook with a built-in bench to sit on, while this bench can also be extended to increase the sitting space. The bench also has a footrest built into it, which can be stored away when not in use. The bed can also be folded away when not in use. The home also features a work area in the form of a standing desk, which has it’s own storage area. I suppose the dining table can be used if you wish to sit while working. The home also features a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom, which is the only part of this home that is separated off from the rest of the apartment for privacy.

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Camping in Style

While going camping in a tent has its charms, a lot of people prefer the more comfortable alternative of “glamping”. And the Spanish firm In-Tenta has recently designed a gorgeous micro cabin, which is intended to be deployed in some of the most picturesque landscapes, so that residents can enjoy the best of untouched nature in style and comfort.

The so-called Drop Box micro-cabin is actually just one of the firm’s offerings in the area of modular hotel suites, which are available in different sizes and models. They can all be erected easily and virtually anywhere. They don’t require a foundation, and are made from natural materials to further minimize the impact they have on nature.

The modules are made of sustainable materials like wood and are easy to transport. The Drop Box cabin features a bedroom for two, though adding a bunk bed for children is also an option. There is also a bathroom, with a spacious shower. The cabin also features an outdoor deck, while the house itself also has plenty of glazing to offer the best views possible. Even the bathroom, or more specifically the shower, offers panoramic views of the surrounding nature, which is great when glamping in a secluded spot, but you might need some opaque curtains otherwise.

Both ends of the cabin are glazed, which connects the indoor space with the outdoors beautifully, almost like you would get in a tent. There are very little details on how the modules are constructed, what type of insulation was used and what kind of off-the-grid features it has. But as far as design inspiration goes, I’m sure it can provide lots of ideas. There is also no word on price yet.

Tiny House That Has a Bathroom With a View

Tiny homes are more often than not built from scratch, which means that everything in them can be made exactly as the owner wants it. And the client who commissioned the firm Rewild Homes to build this tiny home for them wanted to have a bathroom big enough for a bathtub, as well as large windows so they can enjoy gazing at the surrounding nature as they bathe.

The home is called Kestrel, and it is a towable tiny home that rests atop a 24 ft (7.3 m)-long double axle trailer. The interior is quite simple and the layout was kept open to add to the feeling of spaciousness. It also features hardwood flooring, birch and fir trim cabinetry and plenty of glazing, which lets in lots of natural light and aids ventilation.

The living area is just to the side of the entrance, and features a bench-like sofa, which hides storage compartments. There is also a small storage loft above it. Next to this area is a kitchenette, which is equipped with a sink made of granite, a propane-powered stove, as well as a washer/dryer combo unit and even a small fridge.

The bathroom is located on one end of the home and is accessible via a pocket door. It’s fitted with a custom-made vanity unit and also has a granite sink and a granite countertop. It also features a composting toilet, and a bathtub/shower that is flanked by two windows. Privacy could be an issue, but the owners will probably install some blinds, or maybe they plan to live in a secluded area.

Above the bathroom is the sleeping loft, which is accessible via a storage stair. The loft has a low ceiling so there isn’t a lot of headroom here, but there is a skylight, which lets in lots of light, while the loft is big enough for a double bed.

The Kestrel gets electricity from an RV-type hookup, while hot water is provided by a propane-powered on-demand water heater. The home also features a forced air propane heater, and LED lighting was installed throughout.

There is no word on how much this home cost to build.

French Tiny House Does More with Less

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When it comes to tiny homes, most of them already do more with less, but in France the laws governing how large a towable home can be to still be roadworthy are even more stringent. So the firm Blauchon, charged with designing this tiny home, had less to work with since the maximum dimensions of the house could only be 21 ft (6.5 m) long and 13 ft (4 m) high. They still managed to create a comfortable, permanent home for a family of three.

The tiny home is called Calypso, and it is clad in red cedar, with one section treated with the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method, which seems to have been used for decorative purposes in this case, and not as a preservation method. Since the home is tiny indeed, they installed plenty of glazing to allow light to flood the interior and make it appear more spacious.

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Much of the interior is taken up by the living space, which features a kitchenette, a dining area, and storage space. The sofa also in this space hides a good amount of storage and can also be used as a guest bed. The kitchenette is fitted with a sink, stove, and fridge, and also has a breakfast bar large enough to sit three.

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The bathroom features a composting toilet and a shower, though there is no sink to save space. The family must use the kitchen sink for washing too. The child’s bedroom is also on the ground floor, and is separated off from the rest of the home by a door. The parent’s bedroom, on the other hand, is located in a loft that’s accessible by a ladder.

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The kid’s room is fitted with a raised bed that has two wardrobes under it, and can be accessed by a removable staircase that also has integrated storage for toys and such. They were also able to fit a small desk into the space, so the child can do their homework.

The home features standard hookups for electricity and water. For insulating the floor they used sheep’s wool, while cotton, linen and hemp was used to insulate the walls and wood fiber in the ceiling. The home features LED lighting throughout.

Unfortunately, there is no information as to how much this tiny house cost to build.

Water Filtration Using Wood Fibers

 

One of the key components of living off-the-grid is an effective method of water filtration, and a team of researchers at the Swedish KTH Royal Institute of Technology has uncovered a simple and affordable way of doing that. They have developed a technique to filter water using wood fibers.

The main aim of this project is to provide clean water in refugee camps, though the method could easily be used in any setting where a green and off-grid water filtration is needed.

The team created a new material out of wood fibers and a positively-charged polymer, which binds bacteria to its surface. In this way, the bacteria in the water are removed and the water is purified. Another use for this new material is also prevention of infection, since it can be used in bandages and plasters.

However, the main aim of this project is providing an affordable and easy to use filter for a portable water purification system, which isn’t reliant on electricity. All that’s needed for it to do its job is gravity, which forces the water through it. The bacteria is removed from the water by the material, while the filter itself doesn’t cause any toxic chemicals to enter the water as is the case with many currently used on-site water filtration options.

The filter they created works on the basis of the positively-charged polymer attracting the negatively charged bacteria and viruses in the water. The bacteria which are stuck to the surface of the polymer in this way cannot get unstuck or reproduce, and they eventually die. No chemicals or antibacterial agents are used in this process, which also means that creating bacterial resistance is not an issue.

Disposal is also easy, since the wood filter can simply be burned once it is no longer effective.