Metal and Glass House Deep in the Forest

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Construction of the cabin began in 2010, but was put on hold for a while, and then finally completed in December 2016.

Family Converts School Bus Into a Home

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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.

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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.

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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.

French Tiny Home is Light-Filled and Cozy

France has quite a budding tiny house movement going on and the local company La Tiny House has just unveiled yet another great creation. They’re calling it Christine, and it is a modern small home, with plenty of glazing and a warm and cozy interior that is reminiscent of Scandinavian homes.

The interior is clad in unfinished plywood, which covers all the walls, while all the shelves, cabinets and work surfaces are also made out of it. This creates a lovely uniform and clean look. One entire wall is covered in windows, which lets in plenty of light and makes the interior look more spacious.

The Christine features a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and two lofts. The sitting area only features a single armchair that doesn’t look incredibly comfy. The working/eating surface runs the entire length of the home, eliminating clutter and freeing up space. The kitchen is quite spacious for a tiny home, and takes up an entire corner of the living space. It features a stove, fridge, sink, plenty of counter space and storage, and even a washing machine. The bathroom is also quite large and features a shower, sink and a composting toilet.

The bedroom is located in one of the lofts and is accessible via a staircase with shelving built into it. The loft is big enough for a bed but not much else besides, and I would really like to see some sort of a guardrail here. The second loft is used for storage.

Overall, they really made the most of the available space in this build. And the wall of windows makes a huge difference in terms of making this home feel more spacious, which is important when it comes to living in tiny homes. There is no word on how much this home cost to build.

Shepherd’s Hut That Surprisingly Light and Spacious

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

A Wonderful Prefab Tiny 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.