Tiny Home – Micro Camper

Living in a 250 sq ft tiny home would be downsizing enough for most people, but Richard Ward of Terraform Tiny Homes from Dallas, Texas recently traded in this “mansion”, as he calls it, for an even smaller home. He spent the last four months traveling the country in this “mansion” and has now traded it in for a 54 sq ft micro camper.

The camper is called Terraform 3 and it was built atop a boat trailer. It can be expanded into a 120 sq ft home when stationary. Richard bought the trailer used for $175 off Craigslist.  The home itself was built out of 16-gauge, 1-inch square steel channel framing that was welded together. The structure is so sturdy that he could install a small rooftop deck, which is a very nice addition to the home. And this choice of framing also left more interior space to work with.

The interior is reminiscent of a large teardrop trailer, and features a bed, a desk, a sink, some storage, and a small toilet. There is also an outdoor shower and an outdoor kitchen, which is stored away for transport using a hinged door at the back of the home. Ward likes to do most things outdoors, hence his choice to incorporate so much of the outdoors into his new home.  The deck and outdoor kitchen are perfect for that.

This new home is also a lot more mobile than his previous, larger tiny home was.  Much of Terraform 3 was constructed and furnished using repurposed and recycled materials.  For example, it features a countertop made of wine corks, and the floor is covered with pages taken from a vintage 1940s book of drawings.

Terraform 3 is very small and most people probably couldn’t imagine downsizing to such a drastic degree. But then again, how much space do we really need to live comfortably?

Broom-Clad Backyard Office

For professionals working from home a dedicated office space can be a real productivity booster.  These spaces can also be used for a number of other purposes, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and more.  This interesting backyard office is certainly one such space. It is located in the backyard of a Nottingham, UK home, and is used as both a workspace and a relaxation space.  The office was designed by 2hD Architecture Workshop and it is an extension of an existing architecture office, which is located on the ground level of a family home.  What’s really interesting is that this home is clad in 546 coconut-fiber broom brushes, which makes for a very unique and a very hairy structure.

The architects jokingly call it Mission Control, and it became a necessary addition to the home office once children arrived. The office was built in a way that separates it almost entirely from the outside world to allow maximum immersion in the task at hand. There are no windows save for the skylight which floods the interior with light.  They also included a “commute” of sorts to this office, namely that one has to walk 13 feet before reaching it from the main office.  When looking at it from the outside, it also seems like there is no way in. All this was done to achieve maximum peace and quiet so the occupant could focus on just the task at hand.

The shed is entered via a concealed sliding door which is opened by a ‘secret panel’ broom head, which adds to the feeling that one is separated off from the rest of the world when inside it. the office is insulated with sheep wool, which keeps the interior temperature nice and cozy.  The interior measures 75 sq ft (7 sq m), and is big enough for two desks.  The interior is clad in plywood, which gives it a warm atmosphere. All in all, this is the perfect backyard office for anyone who needs total isolation in order to be more productive and focused.

Foldable Home Can Be Installed in a Day

Living Room

Prefab homes are a great solution when looking to build fast, and now there is another awesome option to do so on the market.  The Italian architect Renato Vidal has recently unveiled a prefab foldable home, which can be installed in less than a day. The so-called M.A.Di home comes flat-packed and is built using sustainable materials and means, but designed with durability in mind.  It can also withstand earthquakes.

The M.A.Di home is made of CLT (cross laminated timber) and manufactured by wood specialist Area Legno in Italy. It is available in several sizes, namely a 290-sq ft (27-sq m) tiny home, a slightly larger 495-sq ft (46-sq m) home, a 603-sq ft (56-sq m) home, a family sized 753-sq ft (70-sq m) home, or an even larger family home of 904-sq ft (84-sq m).  All the models have two levels and have a kitchen, dining area and bathroom located on the ground level, and bedrooms on the upper level. The homes feature an A frame structure, which makes it easy to fold them for flat-packing and easy transport to the build site.

Exterior

Exterior

Bedroom

Living Room

The home features a steel profile and steel hinges, meaning that each module can be opened and closed with ease.  When closed and folded, the height of the package is just 4.9 ft (1.5 m), while opened, it measures 21.3 ft (6.5 ft) in height. All of the M.A.Di modules have galvanized steel frames which are designed to support the home’s opening and closing movement. The homes are waterproofed using Polyurethane foam, which also provides the thermal insulation. In addition to this, the walls are insulated using high-density rockwool, while the windows can either be PVC or aluminum.

The actual installation is very simple, since each module just unfolds up.  The home doesn’t need a foundation, since it can be anchored in place with a specially-designed screw pile system, which has virtually no impact so this home has a very tiny footprint.   The home can also be built on a reinforced concrete foundation, if so desired.

Large Module Plan

Single Module Plan

The home can be easily packed away, while it is possible to extend the existing home by adding new modules. It can also be designed according to passive house standards, while there is also the option of taking it off-the-grid by installing a solar power array, composting toilet, water tanks and a gray water system.

The price of this home is $933 (€800) per square meter, so the smallest home will cost about $25,195 (€21,600) and the largest $73,385 (€67,200).

The Millennial Tiny House is Full of Space Saving Ideas

The New Zealand firm Build Tiny recently completed a tiny home, which has some very innovative and effective space-saving features. This so-called Millennial Tiny House is also available to buy at various price points and is therefore accessible to those on a budget, as well as those who want a fully equipped home, which they can move into right away.

 

The Millennial Tiny House measures 23 by 7.8 ft (7.2 by 2.4 m) and rests atop a double-axle trailer, so it can easily be towed. Most of the interior space is taken up by the living/kitchen/dining area, while storage is located beneath the floor, which frees up the available space considerably. The downside of this is that a sofa or regular dining table would make this storage space hard to access, but this can be solved by fitting the home with movable furniture.

The home also features a unique and innovative sliding staircase, which leads to the sleeping loft above the living area. This staircase can be stored away when not needed, then pulled out from the wall to provide access to the loft. It’s made from poplar-plywood and has a lightweight aluminum frame. Next to this staircase is the bathroom, which is separated from the rest of the home by a sliding door. It is fitted with a sink, shower and a composting toilet on wheels, and there is also enough space here for a laundry area.

The home’s kitchen is also very generously sized, with enough room for a full-size fridge, a sink, a two-burner propane stove, a large counter and plenty of storage space. The home’s second loft is located above the kitchen and accessible via the kitchen counter and a ladder installed above it. This loft can be used as a home office or a second bedroom. The office already has a built-in desk, which is attached to the wall. There is also a footwell which uses a kitchen shelf to provide a comfortable sitting experience. This area also features some additional storage space. The home is also fitted with two large French doors which are located opposite each other to provide great ventilation, as well as flood the interior with natural light.

The Millennial Tiny House features a steel frame and Earthwool insulation in the ceiling and walls, while polystyrene was used for underfloor insulation. The cladding is Cedartech and treated steel, while the home features a typical RV-style hookup for power. The company also offers the optional solar power upgrade, which would make this dwelling independent of the grid.

The model pictured here is a prototype but the Millennial Tiny House is also already available to purchase. There are three pricing tiers, which start at $43,000 (59,750 NZD) for just the watertight shell, $65,500 (90,995 NZD) for the shell, along with all the plumbing, wiring and insulation, while the fully-fitted version can be purchased for $86,700 (120,500 NZD).

World’s Tallest Timber Tower Might Get Built in NYC

The New York City-based architecture firm DFA Studio recently turned in a proposal for an observation tower made of wood.  If built, the structure would be the tallest timber tower in the world, and would offer great views of NYC from its location in Central Park. In addition to that, it would also be used to filter the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the park, turning it into a freshwater pond which everyone could use.

The Central Park Tower, as it is named, would be made using mainly Glulam (glue-laminated timber). Structurally, it would feature a steel core, a complex wooden helix that would be wrapped in timber lattice, and a transparent PVC skin. It would be anchored on a concrete base with stabilizing cables. The tower would be 712 ft (217 m) high and would house shops and restaurants. Atop it, there would be an observation deck that will offer 360-degree views of the cityscape.

The tower would also have an integrated filtration system that would clean the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (also known as the Central Park Reservoir). Once the filtration process is complete, the reservoir would become a pond to be used for swimming, sailing and other water activities. Currently this reservoir sits stagnant and fenced off, and is considered a health threat to millions of New Yorkers, tourists and animals.

The filtration system would be housed in the steel core in the lower part of the tower. The needed power to run it would be great, but it would be all provided by a vertical axis wind turbine integrated into the tower. There are no figures to back up this claim as of yet.

The tower would be built using prefabricated construction methods, so DFA Studio believes that it could be completed in about six months. They also describe it as a “temporary” structure, so it would most likely have a limited lifespan.  We’ll have to wait and see if this proposal ever gets realized.