Cinder Box is a MicroDwelling inspired by a desire to produce a prototype for small scale living and working. The 200sf unit includes a general living space with corner sliding doors opening up to an exterior porch. There is a desk alcove for a small office, a storage closet and a bookcase that doubles as a ladder to the bed loft over the desk. As a prefabricated structure, dimensioned to be easily transported, the dwelling can be placed on any lot, as a rural cabin, or as a secondary structure on urban and suburban properties.
The exterior is clad in Japanese shou-sugi-ban style burnt wood siding. The weathered exterior massing is “cut” to expose the inner “flesh” of clear coat plywood. A steel window system set back to create a porch encloses the interior space while opening up the corner.
The design aesthetic was inspired by the dichotomy in desert life. Cacti, such as the saguaro, have rough exterior skins that can handle the intense environment while the interior plant flesh is often soft and wet, designed to hold moisture and the essentials for desert survival. The design plays on this duality with a rough burnt wood exterior contrasting the soft clear wood interior. The shou-sugi-ban provides a long term finish that doesn’t require maintenance as it is fire and rot resistant. Wabi-sabi is the Japanese aesthetic that is exemplified by the natural, simple, austere beauty in weathered materials. This raw aesthetic perfectly transposes to the Sonoran Desert’s inherent character. These diverse inspirations intersect to produce a simple and efficient design for modern living.
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