Unusual ways to go camping seem to be all the rage this summer and UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam may have taken the idea to the most extreme. Not only can you stay inside these unusual structures, but they are also an open-air exhibition open to the public.The installation is located in the Centrumeiland, or Centre Island, an artificial peninsula made of layers of sand. It’s an experimental process for the small country anticipating growth along its waterfront areas. Designer Francis Nijenhuis and economist Annette van Driel saw the area as a wasted opportunity and wanted to show the public a unique way of looking at, and utilizing, space. They commissioned various designers to create 14 mobile structures that will eventually be moved elsewhere. Continue reading
Usually if you are camping in California, you need to have a tent, RV or reservations for a park model or yurt. Now, tiny house and prefab fans will have a few more stylish options thanks to the Parks Forward Commission. The Commission invited architecture students from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to design new cabins to be placed in various California parks.
MINI has a diehard fan base and is teasing them with several new concept cars that may or may not come to fruition. The problem with concepts is that anyone wanting the item aches for it to be available On the other hand, it gives those with imagination and tools the fodder to run with the idea and ask “how small can you go?”
The Clubvan Camper is being called the world’s smallest luxury camper van and the basic Clubman has been adapted to provide sleeping for one person by removing all the other seats besides the driver’s. The bed (with storage underneath) extends from front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle and the space behind the driver’s side becomes a kitchenette which extends on rollers out the pair of rear doors. The kitchenette includes a two burner stove with slide out counter space, storage and a chest refrigerator. The Clubvan also has an auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and a handheld shower designed to be used outside the vehicle. Continue reading
The December issue of the Tiny House Magazine has a story about handmade, wooden truck campers in it and one of most talked about versions on the Web is the whimsical truck camper designed and built by Handmade Matt. Matt is a craftsman and tiny house enthusiast from Surrey, England and is currently available as a consultant for anyone looking to build their own tiny house—on or off a 4×4 truck.
Matt’s step-by-step process of the camper build is available on his website, and while the camper has been sold to a new owner in Sweden, Matt has recently finished up a new design. The vision for the first camper was to create a traditional looking removable camper with modern comforts. The camper is fully insulated, has solar power with 12v outlets and inverter. It contains a full kitchen with running water from a 13 gallon tank and a refrigerator, a two burner stove and a heater. There is an emergency composting toilet for when a public bathroom is not available.
“I wanted a four wheel drive camper and I have woodworking skills. It was the cheapest and most stimulating option,” Matt said. “The design was inspired over the years by all the things I have seen, a lot from Lloyd Kahn’s books. I am actually featured in his latest book, “Tiny Homes on the Move” with another cabin that I have built. I make no real plans when building, it all comes from my imagination. I make it up as I go along, no drawings, limited forethought. The projects just evolve.”
Matt said his favorite part of this particular build was the finishing touches.
“It’s when the magic happens and the whole vision comes together,” he said. “It’s finally when other people can see what was in my imagination all along. It’s a way of getting something that is inside me to come out into the world.”
Matt and his girlfriend took the camper all over the UK, through the southern English counties and into Wales. It did just fine in the mountains and also served as a home for his girlfriend who worked at various festival events.
For future builds by Handmade Matt, keep an eye on his website or the Tiny House Blog.
Photos by Handmade Matt
The theme for this year’s Burning Man, Caravansary, might be one of the most perfect for how the event works. The Persian word means either an Asian or North African inn for desert travelers or a group of people traveling together in a caravan. Both describe Black Rock City and its tiny houses to a “T”. For the people “living” in Black Rock City for the week of Burning Man, their caravan shelters include tents, wooden structures made from pallets, colorful trailers, domes and wagons. This year, we were stunned to realize we were camped right next to Philippe Glade of the This is Black Rock City blog. The Tiny House Blog featured his book, Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Black Rock City last year and his new book is now in the works.
Many structures at Burning Man are elaborate and take hours or days to erect. Sometimes the most beautiful are the most simple. This tent was located way beyond the city near the “trash fence” that surrounds the event.
Other tents are still built from simple materials, but have more exotic shapes.
Just a step up from tents are Costco carports and other prefabricated shelters. This is the Museum of Cultural Appropriation and Dead Things and the Museum’s bar — not open at this time.
It’s always nice to get a little elevated above the desert. These structures are build with wood and wooden pallets and some are placed on top of truck beds or on top of RVs.
Trailers are sometimes unrecognizable in Black Rock City. A cargo trailer becomes a conestoga wagon, a canned ham becomes part of the Nakked Zebra boutique camp and Jay’s eclectic Scamp sits in the middle of Kidsville.
Domes are very popular and quick to erect. This one is a bar and nightclub reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.
This interesting structure has windows to let in the fresh air.
This patchwork yurt offers the gift of storytelling.
The beautiful bunk tents at the Ashram Galactica camp can be won during a nightly lottery.
The Hardly Hotel offers rooms for rent, a bar and a “Thriller” Flash Mob.
This beautifully painted tiny house is located in the Department of Public Works neighborhood. The DPW are the people who build Black Rock City and live in the desert for sometimes eight to ten weeks.
The Burner Ready, Burner Born group from Reno, Nevada decided to tow their entire sailboat out to the desert.
Both of these camps brought the tropics to the desert.
Two of the most beautiful structures in the City this year reflect the craftsmanship of many of the people who come to live here.
While the steampunk house on stilts from the Lost Nomads of Vulcania was not a camp, it could be lived in.
Welcome to Black Rock City. Wish you were here.
Photos by Christina Nellemann