University Students Build Bayview Tiny House

My pastor friend Walt Groff in California first shared this story with me. Today I received an email from Derek Peters sending me some beautiful photos he and Levon Kotanko had taken of this beautiful home. So I decided to jump on this story and share it with you. Both my niece and nephew attend school here and my nephew plans on attending the School of Architecture.

Andrews University students a Seventh-day Adventist University located in Michigan decided to skip an international mission trip for a project that will help people closer to home. Rather than their usual mission trip to South America a professor challenged them to build a fully functional home in just 148 square feet. Their goal to build it for underprivileged people in the community.

“We launched it not really knowing how it was going to turn out, but the students really liked it … and it was eye-opening for them,” said Carey Carscallen, dean of the School of Architecture, Art & Design, who built the house with the five graduate students of his Design/Build class.

The key to building a tiny house is planning and research, Carscallen said. The students had free rein on the project, proposing different designs and making most building decisions themselves. They had to learn all of the skills that one would for a regular house, including wall construction, siding, paneling, insulation, plumbing and wiring, all while working to use space efficiently and ingeniously.

The result is a structure with large windows and a sloping roof that resembles a strange hybrid of truck, motor home, and shed. But the space manages to feel airy and filled with light, not cramped or claustrophobic. The “main floor” features a table for two; a kitchen area with a full sink, 10-cubic-foot (0.28-cubic-meter) refrigerator, small stove top, and ample counter space; a hollow staircase with built-in storage cubbyholes; and a full-sized bathroom with a flush toilet, pedestal sink and shower.

The plan is to continue with this type of project every year and the home is for sale to make this possible.

You can read more about this project and watch a video of the project over at the Adventist Review a church publication. You can also good to their official website at

All Photos are By Derek Peters & Levon Kotanko and used with their permission.


living areadining areaback to frontbathroomstairsloftbayview tiny house

Bayview Tiny House

18 thoughts on “University Students Build Bayview Tiny House”

  1. Very nice, I love the kitchen and dining area. You mentioned this is a 148sqft house, so the overall dimensions are about 8X18? How much did it cost to build???
    Again, very nice a beautiful tiny house that doesn’t seem so tiny!

  2. These look like CAD renderings. Are these actual photos of the structure? Just a bit too perfect, but nice execution if it’s the real deal.

    • I’m pretty sure these are the real deal. I think the interior photos have had the landscape comped, but the fabrics and other textures are not perfect enough.

      Follow the link to the video and you’ll see the real deal in action.

  3. This what I told my son. Take care of people in our own country first. The money for a group to go on a missions trip could pay for several of these to be built. Starting with mine first! 🙂

  4. Wonderful! I just hope the next home the students build will have a stairway instead of a ladder. Much more practical. But otherwise, this house is terrific.

  5. Love the house. My wife and I are wanting to start our tiny home journey. How can we gain access to the specs (blueprints) to begin construction? Thanks!

  6. Wow! This is so cool! I will be contacting them personally, about 3 weeks ago while setting in church God gave me my calling. To use the tiny house on wheels I had been planning out and use it for missionary work. He put several kinks in my plan though I was going to be off grid and simplistic with wood stove coil createing my own hot water no washer or dryer…; lol things don’t work out the way you want when he whisper or shows you what he wants to do. My friend who is helping me with my plans brought this article to my attention ” Thanks Shad”.

  7. I was wondering how I might be able to contact the builders of this tiny house…if you have any information for me I would appreciate it!


Leave a Comment