For someone who wants to be close to nature, but doesn’t mind a little less privacy, a new bubble hotel/campground has been built just outside of Paris by designer Pierre-Stephane Dumas. Each of his “rooms” are transparent, air-filled plastic bubbles placed discretely in the garden of the Chateau de Malmaison, which is the former home of Napolean’s Josephine.
“I think nearly everyone of us has dreamed of something like this,” Dumas said. He built these bubbles primarily to stargaze from the comfort of bed without having to set up a tent. Continue Reading »
When I was twenty-six I went to live in a Tipi at a nature preserve, to escape the rat race and find some peace of mind. I soon discovered that it really did not live up to all my expectations. The mosquitoes were constant, water dripped from the poles, and the smoke was real bad. Even after installing a wood stove the experience was not what I had in mind.
After many moons slipped into oblivion, I decided to study and design a new system. I bypassed the traditional Yurt design, because I felt the lattice walls were too weak and cumbersome to make. Instead, I went with the Geodesic design which is vastly stronger and offers more versatile space and comfort.
Lodge Tech now manufacture some of strongest and most economically priced Domes and Yurts around. These can be made into homes if one is far enough off the beaten path and knows how to work around zoning ordinances etc. Or if you need a great farm building, or to rent them out to hikers or campers. Continue Reading »
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
From The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by by J.R.R. Tolkien
For the lovers of that hole in the ground, take a look at these little, wooden houses with the quintessential round door made very familiar by the Lord of the Rings books and movies. Wooden Wonders, in Unity, Maine, custom designs and builds these little wooden structures that can be used as playhouses, saunas, writing nooks, guest cottages, yoga or meditation rooms or maybe even a tiny house.
The structures can be integrated into your own landscaping and flower boxes can be added onto the back. The structures can be customized with different colors, additional materials, windows, dormers, interior shelving and other decorative features. Wooden Wonders also features a “heavy duty” package with double doors that allows for storing a lawn tracker or an ATV. Continue Reading »
A house designed to act like a tree has recently won the Solar Decathlon Europe people’s choice award. The Fab Lab House, created by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) was visited by over 20,000 people during the event in Madrid, Spain. The Fab Lab House uses the sun, water and wind to create a micro climate that passively optimizes the basic conditions of habitability within the home.
The house was designed to act like a tree that captures energy with its solar “leaves” and sends it down to its roots, where is stored, shared, or returned to the house to produce the fruit of electricity. The house contains a “domestic metabolism” that provides a detailed real-time monitoring of its behavior and its interaction with the environment, creating historical profiles and sharing them socially.
The design of the Fab Lab house has been compared to both a boat and a peanut and has been called a “cinnamon submarine,” “forest zeppelin” and a “whale belly”. The house has also introduced significant technological innovations such as the world’s most efficient flexible solar panels, made with both Spanish and American technology. The project involved architects and experts from 20 countries as well as experts from MIT.
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Happy Independence Day! With summer fully upon most of the country, let’s celebrate one of the best tiny houses for enjoying the outdoors. We’ve covered numerous yurts in the past, but Becky Kemery a.k.a.”The Yurt Lady” and her book, Yurts: Living in the Round, shows how these structures can be comfortable and elegant while still letting in the outdoors.
Becky has lived in yurts for many years in the mountains of the American Northwest. Her book was completed a few years ago while living in her own portable fabric yurt on a permaculture homestead in Idaho. She has also created an educational website called Yurt Info, a newsletter and a Facebook page for other yurt owners and fans of the wood and fabric buildings. The Yurt Info site offers information on how to buy or build a yurt, and includes a forum and links to numerous yurt videos and photo albums. Continue Reading »
A friend of mine recently purchased a 20-foot Pacific Dome to be used as a meditation and yoga space for her and her husband’s spiritual group. I was surprised at how light and airy it looked, yet it’s sturdy enough to withstand our winter winds. I thought it might make a great tiny house.
Their Pacific Dome is attached to a temporary insulated foundation and the entire structure took about four days to erect. Currently the dome does not have insulation, but they plan to order a special cover to be used in the winter. A solar fan is attached to the outside to provide air circulation during the summer. So far the structure has been very sturdy…even in our area’s notorious winds and heavy snows. Unfortunately, a few neighbors reported the dome to the local building department and the department now wants a set of structural calculations about the dome which will be supplied by the engineer at Pacific Domes. Continue Reading »