Pandemic-inspired Dwelling on Wheels offers off-grid living anywhere

December 21, 2020 by  
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A pilot project inspired by the pandemic, Dwelling on Wheels is the newest  tiny home on wheels  designed by Seattle-based firm, Modern Shed. The home features 220 square feet of space, solar power and has off-grid capabilities, all starting at $129,000. Dwelling on Wheels (DW) is the first  portable  dwelling by Modern Shed, a company that has been building custom studios for almost two decades. “The DW captures the imagination of how we can conceive of our lives, offering agility in simple and intuitive form,” the company said in a press release. Related: The Denali XL is a spacious, rustic tiny home on wheels A classic gable form creates a recognizable home, with wall-to-ceiling window placements maximizing landscape views and sunlight. “The DW can do a lot–it’s great for enjoying nature short-term, for off-grid living, or as a second, remote home. Adjusting the floor plan even a little makes it a great home office that can move with people as their priorities move. I also think it’s a great ADU for someone looking to move closer to home, providing a way to have family close by,” said Ryan Smith, owner of Modern Shed. The interior includes a bright and spacious space constructed using wood and sustainable linoleum flooring. Fitting up to three persons comfortably inside, there is built-in storage to allow for  minimalist  living while the large bed is just a few inches shy of queen-sized. A window at the end of the hallway helps continue the line of sight outside to the natural surroundings, a tactic the company uses in its small buildings to keep inhabitants from feeling trapped. The windows are pulled all the way up to the ceiling for the same reason. With a  solar  array installed on the roof, a wood stove, accommodations for water tanks or a composting toilet, and two eclectic wall heaters as backup, the DW is more than equipped for off-grid living.  + Modern Shed Images via Modern Shed

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Pandemic-inspired Dwelling on Wheels offers off-grid living anywhere

ZHA unveils a low-carbon Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum

December 21, 2020 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled renders for the future Shenzhen Science & Technology Museum, an organically inspired, U-shaped museum that will not only raise Shenzhen’s reputation as a global leader in innovation and technology but also serve as a sustainable benchmark for civic architecture in the southern Chinese city. Located within Guangming Science City in northwestern Shenzhen, the new museum will be connected with universities, schools and innovation centers across China to become an important center for youth education. Currently under construction, the low-carbon and energy-efficient museum is expected to achieve the highest Three-Star rating of China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard.  Conceived as a “pearl” in the Guangzhou- Shenzhen Science Technology Innovation Corridor, the Shenzhen Science & Technology Museum will span an area of approximately 125,000 square meters. The museum will offer a series of interconnecting public spaces, galleries and educational facilities clustered around an atrium courtyard at the heart of the building. Related: Green-roofed theater in Shenzhen raises the bar for civic architecture “Incorporating maximum adaptability as a basic design principle, the geometries, proportions and spatial experience of each gallery will offer visitors a rich and varied experience each time they visit,” ZHA explained. “While some galleries can remain familiar and unchanged, others will change according to the type of exhibition showing at the time.” The museum’s fluid lines and curvaceous form is informed by its program and open circulation as well as its immediate surroundings. The western end, for instance, is designed to frame the adjacent Guangming Park. The architects have also crafted the building’s form and orientation in response to results from computer modeling and wind tunnel testing for optimal thermal performance, natural lighting, wind levels and air quality. The energy-efficient museum will be fortified with high-performance thermal insulation along with high-efficiency glazing, HVAC, lighting and smart building management systems. The Shenzhen Science & Technology Museum is slated for completion in late 2023. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Brick, Slashcube and ZHA

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ZHA unveils a low-carbon Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum

Tiny mobile dwelling celebrates local Shinshu larch in Japan

October 9, 2020 by  
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In only three months, eco-conscious Japanese architect  Tono Mirai  crafted a charming tiny timber structure that can be moved by truck. Dubbed the Red Container, the compact building was primarily designed as an exercise to promote Shinshu larch, a beautiful local larch species in the Saku area of Japan’s  Nagano Prefecture that had long been overlooked because of its tendency to warp and twist. However, due to advancements in drying technology, says Mirai, Shinshu larch can now easily work in construction projects — as demonstrated by the stunning Red Container project. Designed over the course of half a year and constructed in just three months, the minimalist Red Container dwelling can be moved by a four-ton truck. The prototype building, which measures just under 10 square meters (107 square feet), can adapt to a variety of functions, from a small mobile store to a  tiny house , and can be custom made to order. The working prototype includes electricity, light fixtures and air conditioning, while its large operable windows facilitate natural ventilation.  Larch  features prominently in the build — the project name is a nod to the natural reddish tones found in Shinshu larch — and shows up in the structural frame’s beams and columns as well as the walls, eaves and furnishings. The wood is left exposed so that users can appreciate the natural grain and craftsmanship from the local carpenter who used local, traditional methods to construct the timber interior.  Related: This rammed earth passive house in Japan is shaped like a shell “In addition, a new blue larch that tends to give a dark and smooth impression, I tried a different expression such as blue material (color change material due to fungi) that is not normally used as the floor material, and 30 mm wideness larch material with unevenness is used to the inner wall,” Mirai explained in a statement. He also added an accent wall to the interior built of  clay  sourced from the local Kita-Aika village in Nagano. A twisted asphalt shingle roof tops off the building. + Tono Mirai Photos by takeshi noguchi

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This tiny home on stilts features an awesome secret patio

August 25, 2020 by  
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Known as LaLa’s Seaesta, this 410-square-foot tiny home located just blocks from the beach features reclaimed wood and a secret hidden patio. The home, designed by Texas-based Plum Construction, takes full advantage of its small stature with a dining nook that converts into a sleeping area and a swinging bed made from salvaged wooden doors. In addition to the 410 square feet of main living space, there is also an 80-square-foot interior loft accessible by ladder. The ladder to the loft was designed and built by Christine of Plum Construction and includes a closed system to stop it from falling and keep it flush against the wall while not in use. Christine also built and installed the beautiful wall treatment in the main bedroom that is made of old beadboard salvaged from a 100-year-old building in downtown Galveston. Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The exterior is painted in a bold black hue, while the inside is soft pink, adding a unique contrast of tones. Inside, the dining nook and ottoman utilize custom upholstery, and the full kitchen contains custom Carrara marble countertops and a vintage-style refrigerator. This dining nook easily converts from a sitting area to a full-sized bed. The contemporary sofa, the centerpiece of the living room, was given a second life through reupholstering. Local artwork from a Galveston artist adorns the walls throughout the home, and the patio section has a painted mural inspired by a Brooklyn graffiti wall. The gable decoration in the front of the house is constructed from reclaimed cypress wood from a nearby house that dates back 120 years. The real hidden gem in this tiny home is the large patio underneath. It provides the occupant with a fun, bonus hangout space with ventilated slatted walls. The patio comes complete with several swings, a hammock, a bar, an outdoor shower for rinsing off after the beach, a sitting area, electrical outlets for a fan or watching TV and, of course, the lovely swinging bed made from two salvaged doors. Century-old reclaimed wood was also used in the construction of the bar and swings. LaLa’s Seaesta is available for rent on Airbnb . + Plum Construction Images via Plum Construction

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This tiny home on stilts features an awesome secret patio

Solar-powered dome in the Texas desert is the perfect place to go off the grid

August 18, 2020 by  
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The Terluna off-grid adobe dome home is located in a remote part of the Texas desert near Big Bend National Park, inside one of the country’s few remaining dark sky ordinance territories. Along with the opportunity to completely cut yourself off from the modern world, the dome’s setting offers incredible views of the night sky along with unobstructed access to the desert horizon. The dome is an earthen structure, built with an adobe barrier, that provides shelter from the elements. In this part of the state, those elements can range from extreme heat and wind to cold and rain. All power comes directly from an installed solar energy system, with just enough energy to also power phones, laptops and lights. Related: Spectacular rammed-earth dome home is tucked deep into a Costa Rican jungle Terluna is isolated, but because the entrance to Big Bend National Park is just a 25-minute drive away, it is easily accessible for those who want to do some exploring. For history buffs, the historic Terlingua Ghost Town can be found about 25 minutes away as well. Wi-Fi is also available in the dome for those who aren’t quite ready to go fully off the grid just yet. Fans of HGTV’s “Mighty Tiny Houses” may recognize the Terluna, as it has been featured on the show in the past. The dome home includes a kitchen with a two-burner propane stove, an oven and a refrigerator. The kitchen sinks get water from a small rain collection tank; guests are recommended to bring their own drinking water. There is space for two people to sleep comfortably, and linens, pillows and blankets are included. Additional space on the pallet couch allows for a third guest. A no-flush, composting toilet can be found in a separate, private outhouse next to the main structure, and guests will have to utilize a nearby coin shower if they want to wash up. The off-grid nature of this space means that occupants will have to sacrifice AC, but the Airbnb stay does have a fan and plenty of windows. + Airbnb Images via Airbnb

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Solar-powered dome in the Texas desert is the perfect place to go off the grid

This tiny house is insulated with cork and powered by solar

August 10, 2020 by  
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Eco-friendly company The Tiny Housing Co. has added The Natura tiny home to its portfolio of unique designs. The tiny house is powered by 1000W solar panels and built out of natural materials such as cork and wood, making it sustainable from the inside out. Starting at just over $65,000, the design of The Natura is aimed at being as sustainable as possible. The company already includes solar paneling with all of its homes, but it also offers an additional “eco” package with 2000W solar panels and a wood-burning stove. The improved panels mean that occupants can generate enough power to run appliances solely from solar, and the wood-burning stove is connected to underfloor heating to reduce heating costs when coupled with the already-installed efficient insulation. Related: Solar-powered cork house pursues healthy, sustainable living Wood paneling makes up the exterior, while the facade features a thick corkboard layer to create a breathable, fire-retardant area near the loft-style, king-sized bedroom. The organic aesthetic of the exterior is complemented by the inside, which is complete with luxurious modern fixtures, soft tones and natural light. Clean water is filtered from an under-sink system, and energy-efficient appliances help keep utility costs down. As is essential in a minimalist home, there are plenty of space-saving features as well, such as hidden storage under the stairs, between the walls and under the bed. Tight insulation is achieved in the walls, floor and roof using rockwool, lightweight XPS boards and cork. Rockwool is a rock-based mineral fiber usually composed of volcanic basalt rock and recycled steel or copper byproduct, and XPS boards (or polystyrene) does not result in harmful waste with its manufacture. According to the company, these materials can also help reduce harmful VOCs and other chemicals that can come with more common home insulation. + The Tiny Housing Co. Images via The Tiny Housing Co.

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This tiny house is insulated with cork and powered by solar

Solar-powered Brink Tower is a sustainable solution to Amsterdams housing shortage

August 10, 2020 by  
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Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo has won an international competition with the design for the Brink Tower, a new mixed-use skyscraper that will connect Amsterdam’s Van Der Pek neighborhood with the Overhoeks. Designed as a solution to the shortage of high-quality housing for young professionals, international students and young couples in the city, the eye-catching tower will include approximately 400 new residences and offer a variety of shared green spaces to encourage a sense of community. Sustainability has also driven the design of the sleek high-rise, which aims to achieve an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) score of less than zero through the addition of solar panels and energy-efficient systems.  Slated to begin construction in 2022 with an expected completion date of 2025, the Brink Tower will occupy a prime location in the Overhoeks that is easily accessible from Amsterdam Central Station via the ferry service. The building will comprise 28 floors and rise to an approximate height of 90 meters. Related: Mecanoo unveils stunning glass lake house that harmonizes with nature To accommodate a diverse group of people, the architects have designed the home with a variety of housing types. The approximately 400 homes will include 120 social rental homes (among the social rental limit), 30 care homes and over 250 rental properties in the middle of the building. The residences and neighborhood meeting spaces will be set above an attractive plinth that will house street-level retail facilities and restaurant spaces.  One of the most eye-catching features of the building will be the addition of greenery around the facade. The various terraces and roofs will be installed with “polder roofs” — named after the lush land tracts ubiquitous in the Netherlands — that will be heavily landscaped. The polder roofs will serve as “green enclaves” for residents and rainwater collection sites; collected rainwater will be reused during the growing season to irrigate the roof gardens. The solar-powered building will also encourage sustainable mobility by providing shared electric cars and bicycles. + Mecanoo Images via Mecanoo

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These modular plywood sanctuaries are completely customizable

June 16, 2020 by  
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As more and more people around the world adjust to remote employment and socially distanced hobbies, Equals Architecture is offering a way to add sustainability to a customizable personal space suitable for work or play. Enter the Equals Sanctuary, a modular, prefabricated space that customers can tailor to their exact work or life requirements. Multifunctional and installed onsite, each Equals Sanctuary is made-to-order. The design calls for multiple core elements called “loops,” each fabricated using five sheets of plywood via a machine that leaves only about 2% waste. The loops can then be fitted into eight different options. To add another element of customization, the sanctuaries can be left without insulation, or insulation can be added between the plywood ribs using sustainable materials such as expanded cork, hemp batts or recycled denim. The exterior finishes are made of rubber, reused waterproof canvas and corrugated steel. Customers can choose between a number of face options as well, depending on the use, site and function. Window options range from standard size to full-height. Related: Prefab eco-pods offer luxury lodging in any environment No matter the type of layout, Equals Architecture will only use FSC-certified, sustainable and recycled materials . Necessary structural plates and ground anchors are used in place of invasive concrete foundations whenever possible. According to the architects, the main goal is to make each structure entirely reconstructable to maintain longevity. Each sanctuary will be easy to move, adapt and reconfigure throughout its lifespan. Equals Sanctuaries can be viewed, customized and purchased on the architects’ website in the form of flat-pack DIY kits delivered straight to the chosen site. If customers don’t want to build it themselves, they can opt for an onsite team to build it for them. There are four presets to start with — Vitae, Officium, Studio and Tabernam — each designed to appeal to a distinct target audience. + Equals Architecture Images via Equals Architecture

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These modular plywood sanctuaries are completely customizable

1973 Airstream is an ‘easy-breezy’ off-grid home with a fold-out deck

May 12, 2020 by  
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Design-build firm Innovative Spaces worked with a client to bring her tiny-home-on-wheels dream to fruition by renovating a 1973 Airstream Tradewind into the Alice Airstream — a gorgeous, modern home complete with off-grid capabilities and a deck. When tasked by an adventurous client to create a new home on wheels for herself and her dog and cat, the Innovative Spaces team went to work searching for the perfect abode. Not only did the home have to be mobile, but it had to be off-grid ready as well. When the designers found a 1973 Airstream Tradewind, they knew they had the perfect trailer to get started. Related: Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals Innovative Spaces owner Nate Stover explained that although the Airstream trailer was in fairly poor shape, they knew they had found a diamond in the rough. “The condition of these vintage trailers rarely matters for our projects, as we replace just about everything on the interior and often also do quite a bit of customization on the exterior” Stover said. “It was your typical 1970s trailer — pretty funky inside after years of sitting around.” Alas, the classic trailer was about to receive a very modern-day makeover at the hands of the creative design team. Although the exterior was in good shape, only requiring a cleanup and new coat of a Sprinter Blue Grey paint, the interior needed to be completely gutted. The first step was to lift the shell off of the chassis to ensure that the home had a solid foundation. To do so, they had to rebuild a new chassis out of aluminum, which was chosen specifically to give the trailer a durable shell. Next up, a new subfloor system comprised of gray and black water tanks, wiring and plumbing and fiberboard was installed, followed by spray foam insulation. The final and most exciting step was implementing the new interior design . The client had requested an open-concept space that included a decent cook’s kitchen and a spa-like bathroom. From there, Innovative Spaces added deep shades of blue to complement the white walls and natural tones throughout the interior. Most of the furnishings within the 165-square-foot home were designed to provide optimal comfort and functionality. The enviable kitchen includes modern appliances as well as a small dining nook at the entrance. The sofa doubles as a bed while an opaque, flower-printed privacy wall leads to the luxurious bathroom. Of course, the design also makes plenty of space for the cat and dog with custom, built-in pet beds. Although the trailer’s interior is definitely compact, the savvy layout and fresh design scheme makes the space extremely livable. When it’s warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors, the Airstream has an awesome added amenity — a drop-down deck with enough room for seating plus protective netting to keep bugs at bay. + Innovative Spaces Via Dwell Images via Innovative Spaces

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1973 Airstream is an ‘easy-breezy’ off-grid home with a fold-out deck

Brother sister duo create tropical tiny home in Hawaii

May 5, 2020 by  
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Tiny homes  are still all the rage within the minimalist and wanderlust communities of the world, and what better place to consider tiny living than in the warmth of the big island, Hawaii? If equatorial location is on your must-have list, this tiny home might be just the serving of simplicity and decadence you’re looking for.  Designed by the brother and sister team, Ellie and Dan Madsen, the Oasis Tiny House lives up to each aspect of its name. Measuring in at just 260 square feet, this tiny home provides an oasis with an abundance of luxury features inside and out. An A-frame ceiling and curved roof leave an airy feeling of space far beyond what is actually there. Complete with a ceiling fan, stained beams and an octagonal window at the peak, the eye is drawn to all the features above. Copious windows provide an abundance of light that embraces the tropical vibe of the home.  Related: 7 tips for decorating a tiny home This theme continues inside the bathroom with a skylight roof above the shower for an outdoor feel, where you just might think you’re actually under a rain shower. The shower design projects out onto the tongue of the trailer for a spacious overall bathroom design. A space-efficient corner shelf holds a vessel sink, and the corner is  lit naturally  and with added track lighting.  The kitchen features stainless steel counters with husky tool drawers and black cabinetry, but the  exotic curly mango wood  windowsill ledge and large pass-through window are the focal points of the space. A subway tile backsplash and mounted shelving round out the accents. This space-conscious design still manages to incorporate a washing machine into the kitchen, a feature many tiny homes lack.  The mango wood laced stairs leading to the bedroom loft offer copious storage underneath, and a row of submarine -style bubble windows offer a 180-degree view. The living room allows space for furniture as well as a multi-functional bar-height table for work, dining or entertaining. Since the tiny house is located in Hawaii , outdoor living is an essential component. The design welcomes this with an outdoor bar located directly below the pass-through kitchen window. Paradise Tiny Homes combined the talents of the two Madsen siblings, who, after having lived in different states for a decade, came back together after the passing of their mother. Feeling reunited by the importance and love of family, they saw that their two different but compatible skill sets could come together beautifully to produce some of the most unique and remarkable homes in Hawaii. + Paradise Tiny Homes, LLC  Images via Paradise Tiny Homes, LLC

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Brother sister duo create tropical tiny home in Hawaii

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