“Les Guetteurs” Owl Cabin

Bruit du Frigo (Fridge Noise in French) is a collective of artists, architects, photographers and urbanists who have been making a splash in the Bordeaux region with their Refuges Périurbains (Peri-urban shelters). Six of these shelters have been created, but the most beautiful of them might just be “Les Guetteurs” or “The Watchers”. A trio of wooden owls you can actually live inside of.

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“Les Guetteurs” was designed and constructed by Bruit du Frigo partner Zebra3/Buy-Sellf and were modeled after ground-dwelling owls in the region. The frame is made from circular plywood, the exterior was create with strips of curved wood and shingles cut to look like feathers. Inside the owls are three levels connected by ladders and several round beds built to look like nests. This refuge is built on a pier with a deck that overlooks a wetlands area. “The Watchers” and other refuges are used for camping, summer trips and travelers visiting Bordeaux. Local hiking tours are available to view all the Refuges Périurbains in the region.

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Les Refuges Périurbains are the visible part of a broader project. The idea is to promote urban hiking as a local open air activity which is accessible to anyone by offering free nights in the shelters. Every shelter can host up to 9 persons in about 160 square feet and has a unique shape. As in other European refuges there is no electricity and no water access, only beds and a common space. The aim of Bruit du Frigo is to study the quality of the environment in its broadest sense: not just its architecture, townscape, ecology or landscape, but its perception as a cultural experience.

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Photos by Bruit du Frigo and Zebra3/Buy-Sellf

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Cargo Cult

Another Burning Man event has come to a close and Black Rock City this year was jam packed full of interesting camps and structures. The city is the area where the nearly 60,000 people who come to the event live. Their “homes” are a selection of unique structures, trailers, buildings, tents, yurts and other forms of shelter that keep out the harsh sun, sometimes heavy winds and the dust that permeates the air.

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Last year, we camped by Tin Man and his fantastic metal pods. This year, we camped by him again and noticed the pods have been improved and they multiplied. Tin Man, a metal worker from Sacramento has been featured in Popular Science magazine with his walking pod, and his pod cabin is his home on the Playa. The bottom pod is a kitchen, the middle pod is a shower area and the top pod with the view is his bedroom. He even had a few guests staying in his camp and created a self-contained micro pod and some guest pods made of curtains.

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There were a lot of shipping container shelters out on the playa this year including this one with a constructed inner building that is air conditioned and accessed by a real door. This container was used by one of the Black Rock Rangers. Rangers are the city’s peacekeeping and helpful guides. They help people who are lost, work perimeters during various burns and stay in the city sometimes for several weeks.

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There were some very interesting domes this year including this structure that looked like an igloo.

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This dome was made entirely out of loaves of bread.

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These domes were kept full by constantly pumping air into them via a generator.

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This dome was built to look like a large bird of prey.

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If you come to Black Rock City in a tent, there are various structures you can place over your tent to keep it cooler and dust free. Our neighbor Kristal Light built a Monkey Hut around her Coleman Bayside tent (which even had a swinging door and a small closet) and our other neighbors built a custom sized post structure around their tent.

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Some very colorful structures were in the city this year including yurts, circus tents, Moroccan tents and even a tipi covered in silk scarves.

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Of course, there were some beautiful little trailers in the city as well.

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Some unusual structures included a teardrop trailer sans trailer built onto the bed of a truck.

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A castle called the Coo Coo Camelot.

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A yellow, or lello, structure built on top of a shipping container. This structure was used by members of the Department of Public Works, the group who builds Black Rock City.

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The Open Mind Zendo near Fractal Planet was built out of cardboard boxes.

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This treehouse structure was built and used by the camp Dustfish.

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Hands down, my favorite camp in all of Black Rock City is Ashram Galactica. Their extremely well run camp contains the Grand Hotel, a colorful yurt and a set of beautifully decorated canvas bunk houses that serve as the Ashram Suites. Each of the suites are gifted by raffle to denizens of Black Rock City in a nightly drawing. They each have a theme including the Shanghai Suite, the Cambridge Suite and the French Boudoir.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Trekker Trailers Tiny House

Trekker Trailers in central Florida has been building vintage and retro style teardrop trailers for over four years, but the company’s owner, Andrew, wanted to take his love of simple, tiny living to the next level and built a 70 square foot house on wheels that was recently sold to a 17-year-old student. His mother is also thinking of getting a tiny house.

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“I have always loved campers and simple tiny living,” Andrew said. “I’ve been building teardrop campers for 4 years now, have restored many historic homes in my area, and have a love for form, function, and art. It seemed like a good fit for my talents to build a tiny house. Though my wife and I intend to retire in a tiny house, this one was built to sell so I tried to appeal to the lovers of the craft.

Watch a walk-through of the Trekker Trailer tiny house on the company’s Facebook page.

The Tiffany blue house is built with high quality materials like Galvalume roofing, cypress interior and exterior trim and some interesting and unique storage and space-saving details. The small living room couch (with a lovely skylight above it) has storage behind and underneath the seat and what Andrew calls a “hybrid Murphy bed” folds down from the back wall. The bed can be adjusted to sleep one or two people. The kitchen contains a sink, refrigerator, microwave and a slide-out pantry. The wet bath has fiberglass flooring and a composting toilet that can use BioBags. The water heater is a propane powered heater that is mounted on an exterior wall near the deck. Continue reading