When it comes to tiny homes, a clever and space-saving interior layout is an absolute must. And the Koda micro home definitely has that covered. The home was created by the Estonian firm Kodasema, an it is a modern home with a very small footprint, while also being prefabricated off-site and very easy to assemble.
The Koda has a very modest floorspace of just 284 sq ft (26.4 sq m), yet it appears much more spacious than that. It is made out of concrete, which is an interesting choice as far as prefab homes go. It arrives in sections that can be assembled, or disassembled, in one working day. The home also does not require a foundation and can be built on a wide array of surfaces.
Koda is a two-story home, with the living room, kitchen, bathroom (with toilet and bath/shower), on the lower level and the bedroom and laundry room on the upper level. The home can be fitted with a solar power system, programmable LED lighting, and a digital door lock.
In addition to the Koda home, Kodasema also offers versions that can be used as a café, office, workshop/studio, store, or a classroom. These have slightly different interior layouts, and do not all cost the same. The firm is currently also working on a stackable version of the Koda, and is planning on building a village of Koda homes in Tallinn, Estonia to be completed this August. This is part of their vision that the Koda home be used as an affordable housing solution.
The company ships to the UK, but not to North America, which it hopefully will in the near future. The home is quite pricy though, since the fully equipped version costs around $194,000.
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.
French architect Stéphane Malka has a very interesting proposal for how to renovate an old apartment building in Paris. Plug-in City 75, as the project is named, calls for attaching a series of wooden boxes to the building’s façade, which will have the dual function of increasing the interior space of the apartments, as well as make the structure more energy efficient.
Malka came up with this idea because the local building codes do not allow for extending buildings upward, but extending them outward is allowed. He has already designed the wooden boxes to be used for this purpose. They vary in size and are all prefabricated off-site. The building that is to get this interesting facelift is located in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, and was build in the 1970s.
The prefab boxes to be used will be lightweight, and built using sustainably-sourced wood. Plans call for them to be mounted onto the building’s facade. The occupants of the building will be able to decide what they want to use the added space for, such as a lounge, balcony or a loggia. The renovated building will also have a green façade, thanks to the greenery planted along the boxes.
According to Malka’s calculations, these new additions to the façade will reduce the building’s energy expenditure from the current 190 kWh per sq m (10.8 sq ft) per year to 45 kWh per m2 (10.8 sq ft) per year. That’s quite a reduction, and it will be interesting to see if these numbers are achieved in practice. The Plug-in City 75 project will be completed mid-2018.
Overall, this is a great example of an old building renovation done right. This project will boost energy efficiency and create larger living spaces in one go, which should be the goal of urban renovation projects worldwide, if we are to successfully reduce our carbon and energy footprint.
Building a home takes time, even if you opt for a pre-fab option. But with the newest offering by the UK firm Ten Fold Engineering all you have to do is press a button and your home is built within ten minutes. How futuristic is that? Not to mention awesome. Ten Fold Engineering offers a range of such modular, self-deploying structures which can be erected without needing builders, cranes or foundations.
The core of these unfolding homes can be transported anywhere on the back of a standard truck. Once on-site, the unit unfolds to three times the size it was for transport. It also already features all necessary fixtures, and is ready to live in right away. The whole process is also reversible so that the home can easily be moved to a new location.
As for the interior layout, each unit offers the ability to set it up according to your needs and wishes. This is done with the help of folding partitions, which can be used to freely design the number and size of rooms one wants. Each of the units can also be fitted with a range of modular pods which make it possible to install off-grid power systems, water-filtration systems, and more.
The units can also be scaled up by interlinking them in a number of combinations to create larger homes or even hotels. In addition, the company has also created a number of customized fold-out units. One of these is the so-called “Tree House” which is a cube that opens into a winged, floating tree house. The “Moot Hall” on the other hand, looks like a giant A-frame tent.
At this time, many of the designs are still in the concept stage, while the company perfects their unfolding technology. They are looking for architects, engineers and manufacturers interested in using the technology in exchange for a license fee.
The core unit seems to be close to production, and they estimate that the starting price of one of these units will be about $130,000. The company is hopeful that the production costs will eventually decrease, driving the price down as well, so that the units can also be used as affordable housing or disaster relief housing.
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.