Hus-1

Swedish architect Torsten Ottesjö has recently create a free-standing and nearly free-form tiny house that can be moved anywhere to create the illusion that the house has sprouted out of the ground. The Hus-1 is a 270 square foot dwelling that can accommodate two people and contains a kitchen, sleeping quarters, dining table and windows that look like the surface of a leaf.

Ottesjö says that “block-shaped” buildings are not a suitable environment for humans and that integrating nature’s variety of form into a home will create a space that feels unconstructed. He also says that it is more common to hear a person express more love for a car than for a house since a car is more in scale with a human body. Homes should be sized smaller and adapted the same way to the movement  and mechanics of the body. Continue reading

The ecoPerch

Treehouses have been making the news lately with Deek Diedrickson’s “Wolfe’s Den” and Joel Allen’s HemLoft. Across the pond, the ecoPerch is a new tiny house design based on a treehouse from the Blue Forest company in the U.K. This beautiful structure is designed to fit into the natural surroundings while still offering enough space for four beds, a dining and lounging area and a bathroom and kitchen.

The ecoPerch is 36.5 square meters (just under 400 square feet) and contains a master bed with built in storage, a bunk room, a toilet and shower room with a heated chrome towel rail, a living area with a wood stove, a kitchen with a breakfast bar and a small deck with storage for firewood. It’s highly insulated, made of sustainable materials and can be fitted with an off-grid energy system and composting toilet. Continue reading

Living in the Future

According to the Lammas ecovillage in Wales, living in the future means looking to the past. This series of videos shows the baby ecovillage’s plans and struggles to develop a low impact village in the open countryside. The series also profiles several other successful ecovillages around Europe. The village is named after the pagan holiday that celebrates the abundance of the fall months.

Lammas is the United Kingdom’s first planned ecovillage and is sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland in Pembrokeshire. The houses use low-impact architecture which uses a combination of recycled and natural materials. The village will contain five detached buildings and one terrace of four dwellings. The homes will be built of straw bale, earth, timber frame and cob; they will have turf roofs and wool insulation and will blend into the landscape.

The videos (also available as podcasts) cover everything from searching for land, working with local codes, inspectors and design councils, examples of different types of natural building including straw bale and cob, surviving cold weather, self-sufficiency, growing your own food, and keeping community intact. The ecovillages profiled are Cae Mabon, The Village, Ireland and Findhorn. That Roundhouse by Tony Wrench is also featured. Continue reading