Artist Retreat
January 24, 2012

Artist Retreat

By Mike Beamer

The main goal of this project is to create a space that will draw talented artists to Sisters, Oregon and provide them with an enriching experience of the area while facilitating the creation of great works of art.

The living and working functions are separated into their own units which face a common porch providing an expansion of perceived space and a connection to the outdoors. The modular construction sits lightly on the ground and is easily transportable on the back of a flatbed truck. A steel exoskeleton provides a rugged structure to which Structural Insulated Panels are bolted, providing a continuous layer of insulation.

The project aims to have net-zero impact, through the use of PV panels, capturing rainwater, and composting all waste. Contact with each of these systems will enhance the user’s awareness of personal consumption.

More information about this and other projects can be found here:

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Angie - January 24, 2012 Reply

This configuration reminds me of a “dog-trot” house. It’s similar to what I’d wish to do, have one side for living and the other for all my sewing stuff together, with a porch in between.

Stefanie Huguet - January 24, 2012 Reply

How do purchase either the plans or the modular units?

Liz - January 24, 2012 Reply

I appreciate the drawings of how it will look in winter. So many places are just pictured under the most ideal summer conditions, and that is not what the majority of the year is like in most of the North America.

Laura Robson - January 24, 2012 Reply

I am an artist and I am looking at relocating to Central Oregon. More information about this project would be great!

Mary D. - January 24, 2012 Reply

I am strongly leaning towards this type of dwelling. I love the idea of the units being separate but with an outdoor space in between. The only thing I see wrong with this one is the roof…you can’t have an angle like that bc it will catch too much moisture and always be a problem in that crease. But, that’s very fixable! Otherwise, this is great.

Beth - January 24, 2012 Reply

Very nice, attractive, fresh! But I think the designer is asking for big trouble (water rot, leakage, etc.) with that inverted roofline.

    when - January 24, 2012 Reply

    Exactly what I was thinking. Don’t forget that you’re going to have a permanent ice-dam-glacier up there until like July, that is if the whole cantilevered roof doesn’t just fall off.

    So many tiny house designers are very committed to re-discovering the wheel. Go get an architect, people!

Chrystal Sypolt - January 24, 2012 Reply

ditto on plans and pricing, thanks!

Pat W. - January 24, 2012 Reply

This design looks great! I like the limited footprint on the earth and the clean lines. However, I agree with folks who are concerned about that roof line catching snow and I. If it were my house, I would have to address that part of the design.

alice h - January 24, 2012 Reply

It might make more sense to have the roofs slope from the centre outwards and to cover the deck completely in rain country. You might want a screened section out there in bug country too, though a person could always put up one of those screen houses in summer.

Dee@ Small House Life - January 24, 2012 Reply

Would love to see inside pictures!

Dee 🙂

BigGoofyGuy - January 24, 2012 Reply

I think it would an excellent artist studio or retreat. Being a painter (I use oil paint), it would be neat to retreat there and paint. 🙂

Deek - January 25, 2012 Reply

Love it- but I thought the same as others above- concerns about the roof/future leakage- but more so, the major oversight is that for an artists studio, they’ve eliminated the views by placing the largest windows facing only the interior porch and core of the place, and not outward to the woods. To see the wilderness around, you’re forced to peer through the tinier windows of the building. It does all depend on where you places this- ie. if privacy and other nearby dwellings were a concern. I really like to concept and look though- very nice/well done.

Mo - January 25, 2012 Reply

Interesting concept. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in reality. With that much glass I would assume it would take a lot of fuel in the winter for heat.

Mike M - January 25, 2012 Reply

Regarding the roof. I have a feeling the designers know more than us. Another well regarded small house design. The EDGE house
Also has this roof design. So I have a feeling they know what they are doing. The EDGE house won some design awards. I can’t explain it, but maybe keep an open mind.

alice h - January 25, 2012 Reply

Butterfly roofs were originally designed to maximize rain water collection in dry locations and are commonly associated with leakage in wet areas. Designers are sometimes more concerned with the look of something than the function. At the very least it would require more vigilance and maintenance to keep it working in very wet or snowy areas. The most sensible, if not always aesthetically preferred, designs for wet country roofs encourage rapid drainage and minimize standing water, ice or snow. Butterfly roofs can be made with a slope in one end of the central valley to encourage better drainage but that won’t help with snow.

    alice h - January 25, 2012 Reply

    Hmm, just looking at the plan again and it doesn’t look like the central facing overhanging sections are very well supported for snow loads either. Presumably there will be more structure than what is shown here.

Neil - January 26, 2012 Reply

Am I the only person who thinks that this arrangement would get tiresome quickly? I can’t imagine having to put on shoes and a jacket just to go from one part of my house to another… every bathroom break, food break etc. means dressing up during the winter for anyone in a northern location. Even in the summer, that back-and-forth would let lots of mosquitoes in, every time that the door is opened.

Mike Beamer - January 27, 2012 Reply

This is Mike, the designer of the project. I appreciate all of the comments and discussion. Thank you for sharing the project Kent!

If you would like to see more on the project, including the most recent design renderings and the roof design intentions, please visit the link below. From that page you can also access 13 other excellent mobile retreat projects from my classmates.

To those interested in plans and pricing, please email me to discuss. The project is speculative at this point but I would love to develop it further if there is interest.

Thank you,

Mike Beamer

chase canadé - January 28, 2012 Reply

Wow! Anothher great read in this news letter for us artists/musicians… 🙂

Thanx Tiny House Blog!

This is a great project and news… There’s going to be a whole bunch of artists/musicians in the same spot, way cool!

… so when can I move in?

– chase –

Charlie - January 28, 2012 Reply

I might suggest a slightly larger over hang between the two modules so the the entire deck is not covered with snow in the winter. The original “dog trots” covered the deck are so you wouldn’t have to wear boots between the two halves.

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