Living in a glass house isn’t always practical, and more often than not, it’s also not very sustainable. But this one, the so-called Hidden Pavilion recently built in a forest near Madrid, Spain, was designed in a way that renders most shortcomings of glass homes null and void.
All the exterior walls of the Hidden Pavilion are made of glass, which was set into a steel frame. Since the home was built in the middle of a forest and is surrounded by tall trees, privacy is not an issue. The home was also designed and built in a way that did not require chopping down any of the trees. This includes a 200-year-old oak tree, while they also left gaps in the terraced areas of the home so that younger trees will be able to continue growing through them.
The Hidden Pavilion measures 753 sq ft (70 sq m) and was designed by the firm Penelas Architects as a quiet countryside retreat. It has two floors, as well as a veranda on the second floor and a terrace on the roof. The interior is mostly finished in cherry wood. The first floor houses the bedroom, bathroom and a walk-in closet. The second floor, which is accessible via a spiral staircase, features a spacious kitchen and dining area, and opens onto the veranda, which cantilevers over a small waterfall. Another set of stairs leads to a spacious roof terrace.
The chimney-like structures on the roof terrace are actually light tubes, which ensure that the interior gets sufficient natural light, since the home is well shaded by trees. The ample shading by the trees also ensures that the interior temperature is comfortable even in the hotter months of the year.
Construction of the cabin began in 2010, but was put on hold for a while, and then finally completed in December 2016.
One of the things I love about being a freelancer is the ability to work virtually anywhere I please, even from the sofa or bed. But regular, 9-to-5 office spaces have been changing too, with cubicles giving way to more open plan setups. Design students at ÉCAL University have come up with this ingenious work space layout as part of a workshop, which they call Workbay Village. It is a flexible, fun workspace, which allows employees to work, nap, and even grow plants.
Workbay Village is made up of custom-designed office pods, which were inspired by the so-called Workbays system of office dividers originally designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. The workshop was led by Erwan Bouroullec and Camille Blin, and the main goal was to create an office which fosters greater interaction between people by giving workers a chance to step away from work and exchange ideas in a more casual manner.
One of the pods that makes up this office set-up is the so-called Farm Bay, which was created by ÉCAL student Paula Cermeno. It allows employees to grow and care for plants, while also purifying the air inside the office. Another of the pods is the so-called Bar Bay, which was created by student Sara de Campos, and it is a sort of bar, which lets employees have their happy hour right in the office. The style of this pod was inspired by Japanese sushi bars.
The Nap Bay, as the name suggests, is a pod where people can take a quick nap during the workday. It features a comfy looking bed and curtains for privacy, and was designed by Yasunori Morinaga. Another sleeping area was designed by Antoine Chauvin and is called Capsule Bay. It was inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, and it is made up of two small bedrooms one on top of the other, with the top one accessible via a set of rungs. The lamps, standing desk chairs, wall bins and the bungee-cord storage system, were also designed by the students specifically for this project.
Families don’t typically opt to live in a bus converted into a home, that’s more for young adventurous couples and singles. But Jeremy and Mira Thompson of Key Peninsula, WA are making it work. They live full time in a converted school bus with their toddler daughter Carys.
The couple converted a disused school bus into a cozy cottage on wheels and it looks amazing. Perhaps the most impressive thing is that they build the cottage directly into the frame of the bus. Mira and Jeremy designed and built the home themselves. Mira came up with the floor plan and interior design, and Jeremy, who has lots of experience in autobody work and carpentry, brought those plans to life. He even handcrafted the lovely caravan-style bed and refurbished the antique woodstove, which they use to heat the home.
The interior is well thought out and appears quite spacious. The main part of the bus is taken up by the lounge area and the kitchen, while they also installed a custom-built sleeping nook in this area, which looks like something out of a fairytale. There is a platform atop this nook, which serves as the sitting room, or a guestroom. The kitchen is quite large and features ample counter and storage space. The home also features a spacious bathroom. Jeremy even thought ahead, and installed a removable panel next to the circular window that will allow the family to add a deck or even an extension should they ever require it.
They are currently using the home as a stationary one, though presumably it could also be driven around. While living tiny certainly isn’t for everyone, and most families with small children shy away from it, it is refreshing to see some examples of people who are experimenting with it and having a blast as they do so! This bus is also one of the most unique and ingenious tiny homes we’ve seen so far.
This tiny home was designed by Thomas Alabaster of Contemporary Shepherd Huts based in Suffolk, England. It was inspired by the actual huts shepherds in the area used to live in long ago while taking their animals to pasture. His creation features a skylight, which brings in lots of light, while the whole home appears cozy and welcoming, despite being small.
The tiny home is mounted on wheels making it mobile, though the exact dimensions of it are currently unknown. It is basically just a rectangular structure with a gabled roof that has a skylight running the length of it. According to the designer, installing the window was quite tricky, but he persevered because it truly adds to the sense of spaciousness, which is usually lacking in similar tiny homes. I would tend to agree.
This modern shepherd’s hut is well insulated and clad in galvanized steel, which was welded together. The interior walls are clad in white washed wood. The center of the home is taken up by the main living area with a small, but open kitchen that features a two-burner stove, a small fridge and an overhead rack for storage. On one end, this home also features a small covered deck, which is large enough for two people to sit on, judging from the photos.
The sleeping area is located at the other end of the home, just beyond the kitchen, and features a nice narrow window that lets in plenty of light. Across from the bed is the bathroom, which is quite large for such a small build. It is located behind a sliding door, which saves a lot of space and appears to be repurposed. The bathroom features a shower, sink and toilet, and is clad in zinc paneling, which matches the exterior of the home.
It cost only about $20,000 to build this hut. It serves as a sort of prototype, and its basic design can be further customized according to clients’ wishes. I think this tiny home would make a great getaway cabin, or even a full time home.
There are many ways you can obtain a tiny home if you are looking to downsize. You can either commission a firm for a custom-built one, purchase an already constructed one, or build it yourself, whether from scratch or inside a repurposed shipping container, for example. There have been some awesome school bus and van conversions seen lately too. There are also prefab tiny homes, and a great addition to the already existing lineup is the so-called ARK Shelter, which was designed and built by a Holland-based company.
ARK Shelters actually range in size from tiny to normal sized homes, since the modules out of which they are constructed can be assembled together to form larger dwellings. The modules also come in various sizes, with the largest one measuring 300 sq ft (28 sq m). The exterior is clad in wood and painted black, which gives the home a timeless, classic aesthetic. The interior walls are paneled with cross-laminated timber plates that give the home a cozy, warm feel.
The modules also feature large, floor-to-ceiling windows, which let in plenty of natural daylight, aiding ventilation and making the home appear much more spacious when opting for the smallest module. All the windows also have shutters to provide the needed privacy. The modules feature a well-sized kitchen and bathroom, while different layouts and configurations are also possible.
The ARK shelter is also very well insulated and a circular woodstove is used for heating. There is also the option of having additional electrical heating, which can be powered by wind turbines or a solar panel array. The firm also offers the option of installing a rooftop rainwater collection and filtration system. The modules do not require any sort of foundations, so they can be placed virtually anywhere.
The ARK Shelters come fitted with all the custom-designed furniture, the woodstove and a mattress. Given all the features, one would expect the price to be high, but they are selling the basic model for $59,000, which is comparable to most of the other offerings on the market today.