tiny houses

The tiny houses are a concept coming from America, where the “Tiny House movement” arose. Slowly but surely the Netherlands are starting to get acquainted with the phenomenon ‘Tiny House’. But there are still many people who have never heard of the little houses. Therefore I want to explain to you the concept of the tiny houses and show you some beautiful examples.

The definition of a Tiny House is different for many people. The Tiny House Movement is mainly about the philosophy: to settle for less and create a life that revolves around what is really important. How much space do you need to live pleasantly without excess ballast? That depends on the person. How can you arrange a living situation as healthy, environmentally friendly and free as possible in a way that suits you? They are deliberately constructed and inhabited to lead a more simple life, less focused on consumption and a smaller environmental footprint.

3D-printed micro home by DUS Architects

Dutch studio DUS Architects has 3D printed an eight-square-metre cabin and accompanying bathtub in Amsterdam, and is now inviting guests to stay overnight. DUS Architects used sustainable bio-plastic to create the 3D Print Urban Cabin, which is intended to demonstrate how additive manufacturing can offer solutions for temporary housing or disaster relief. When the cabin is no longer needed, it can be destroyed and almost all the materials can be reused.

A window punctures one end, while the other integrates both an entrance and a stepped porch seating area. Its walls are patterned with angular protrusions that create a three-dimensional surface, giving the building extra structural stability. Inside, the cabin contains enough space for a bed, although this can be folded up into a seat during the day. There is no space for a bathroom, but a large 3D-printed bath is located in the garden.

Casa Transportable ÁPH80 by Ábaton

Spanish architecture studio Ábaton has developed a micro home that can be transported on the back of a lorry and placed almost anywhere. Ábaton chose dimensions of nine by three metres to provide just enough space for two people and also allow the transportable house to be hoisted onto the back of a truck.

Externally the home is clad entirely in grey cement-board panels, creating a monolithic form. However, some of these panels hinge open to reveal sliding glass doors in the front and windows to the sides. A combined living room and kitchen is positioned in the centre with a bathroom and bedroom either side, all under a gabled roof that reaches 3.5 metres at its peak.

KODA by Kodasema

This tiny prefabricated dwelling by Estonian design collective Kodasema is designed to allow its residents to up sticks and move to a new location in less than a day. Named KODA, the mobile house prototype contains an open-plan living space and mezzanine bedroom within its 25-square-metre footprint, and also includes a built-in terrace in front of its glazed frontage. The house is constructed with factory-made components, and can be assembled on-site without the need for foundations.

The small lounge area sits directly behind the glazing, while the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom are set towards the back of the space to provide more privacy. A ladder leads up to the sleeping area above the kitchen, which is just big enough for a bed. But the house is also designed to generate and conserve its own energy, so it can be used in remote settings for short periods of time.

Minimod by MAPA architects

Architecture collective MAPA of Brazil and Uruguay has built a prefabricated modular home and transported it by lorry to a picturesque spot in the countryside outside Porto Alegre. MAPA, which was formed by the merging of separate studios MAAM and StudioParalelo, built the mobile residence as the prototype for Minimod, a business creating bespoke modular structures that can be used as homes, remote hotels, pop-up shops or temporary showrooms.

The residential retreat comprises four modules, creating separate areas for sleeping, lounging, dining and bathing within a simple steel-framed structure. The two end walls of the building are entirely glazed. At one end, this frames views out from the bedroom area, while at the other it creates a shower room that can be treated as both an inside or outside space, depending on which doors have been opened. Huge shutters also hinge away from the side walls to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing residents to open their living space out to the surroundings.

Porta Palace by Daniel Venneman

‘Porta Palace’ is one of the first tiny houses being constructed in the netherlands. Dutch designer and builder daniël venneman constructed it together with jelte glas, its future inhibitor. With two generous glass façades, plus bed and bathroom windows, you can see through this house from all sides. Its open interior emphasizes the sense of spatial continuity inside, generating a common reaction when people step in the house of finding it larger than expected – proving that living in a tiny house does not have to feel tiny.

The project serves as a showcase for bio-based construction. Its timber-frame construction is isolated using a hemp-flax combination and clad with pretreated wood which will age naturally. The steel roof and glass parts are almost 100% recyclable. In a later stage, solar panels and a battery kit will be added, which will enable the house to supply its own electricity, enough to power the integrated LED lighting, a small fridge, the ventilator of the dry toilet and to charge a laptop and other small electrical devices.

Wikkelhouse by Fiction Factory

Amsterdam collective Fiction Factory has developed a modular building system of cardboard components, which can be assembled in just one day to form houses or offices. Named Wikkelhouse, which translates from Dutch as Wrap House, the completed prototype comprises a series of interlocking cardboard segments that each weigh 500 kilograms. Each of these tubular components is 1.2 metres deep, and can be connected and disconnected to extend or reduce the length of the building. They also make it easily transportable.

Each section is made from 24 layers of cardboard. These layers are wrapped around a house-shaped mould to achieve a rounded gabled form, before being bonded together with “eco-friendly” superglue to create a robust and insulating shell. The cardboard is protected from weather by a waterproof but breathable film and finished with wooden cladding boards to create a weatherproof enclosure. As the structure does not require a foundation, it can be built on a chosen site in just one day. Slot-in sections include a kitchen, shower and bathroom, and there are options for glazed or opaque facades. The structure is made only from recyclable material and designed to last for at least 50 years.

Photographs and parts of the text from Dezeen and Archdaily.