It’s a tricky situation figuring out whether the pandemic has increased our need for isolated space / solitude or if we were moving towards it beforehand and COVID gave us the opportunity to experience it – for me, it’s almost as complicated a problem as the chicken and egg first problem. The verdict, however, is unanimous – tiny architectural RVs are here and will be with us for a while. If the industrial age and prosperity gave birth to the concept of vacation homes, the millennial age, with a lack of space and the need for self-identity mixed with climate-conscious behavior, makes us fans of prefabricated homes. So step into a world of beautiful unfolding homes that are sure to make you a fan if you aren’t already!
Meet ARCspace, a modular architecture firm that is constantly developing innovative designs and material developments to help reduce emissions for its industry through sustainable, affordable prefabricated houses. All structures are prefabricated for highly efficient and fast buildings that reduce emissions and minimize waste. ARCspace reports that the buildings are “built from the ground up in 40-60% less time and cost than conventional constructions”. Residents can fully customize their tiny homes, or even scale them to the size of traditional homes, and have a wide variety of interior design details to choose from, including optional items that provide off-grid power and water. Some houses have self-contained atmospheric water generators, so-called hydropanels, which are independent of the mains and draw a few liters of drinking water from the air every day.
Hüga was developed from the Danish word Hyggee and conceived, designed and built over a period of 24 months, during which Grandios designer team created a 45 m² residence with space for bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen and dining area. The end result is these reinforced concrete hüga units, which are designed for minimal maintenance and a reduction in your energy costs. These compact homes can withstand all climates and adverse conditions, including earthquakes, forest fires, and cyclones. Hüga houses are also so mobile and modular that you can expand your house as planned in just one day. Hüga with a weight of around 55 tons requires a team and a machine for the transport, but can be placed according to the wishes of the future resident.
Named Kvivik Igloo, these tiny prefabricated houses have an aesthetic that will be remembered for a long time. With their hexagonal frames and the surrounding wilderness, these houses are reminiscent of the hobbit cottages. Lined with asphalt slabs, the Kvivik igloos can sprout grass and greenery from their roofs and sides to really take the residents into their favorite Habbit fairy tale. The living roof of the igloo not only contributes to its charm, but also to the sustainability factor of the Tiny Home and creates an elevated nesting place for birds and forest dwellers alike.
Pekka Littow’s Majamaja concept is an eco-cabin. This means that the prefabricated house was born out of life in the Finnish archipelago and essentially speaks of a building tradition that focuses on the harmony between man and nature. Majamaja Wuorio units are prefabricated, transportable and through the use of off-grid technologies such as solar panels and a circulating water treatment system, the units can be set up anywhere. The closed water treatment system of the tiny cabin collects both rainwater and humidity in order to store it and forwards it to the integrated water treatment system for the residents in the shower, kitchen or bathroom. The design is independently able to take care of its occupant with ease.
The house in Chamois is a highly modular and adaptable structure that makes our dreams of sustainable architecture come true! This modern prefabricated house by the Turin company Leap Factory has called all of its projects “Leap Houses” and the entire design of each house is constructed with a modular system made of natural, recyclable materials that allow maximum flexibility. Every component for the house in Chamois has been manufactured and developed in Italy to reduce environmental impact and construction site waste.
Originally, My Home Office was designed and created by Cosmas Bronsgeest to have a workspace in his family’s yard that could remain a place to retreat to for rest amid the chaos of the COVID-19 jobs at home and find focus. But seen in this way, the design is something out of a fairy tale for me! The year-round prefabricated office stands out from the crowd with its sloping triangular roof and creates the cozy yet functional atmosphere that fills our Pinterest boards!
Hariri & Hariri, a New York-based architecture firm, was inspired by the intricate art of folding paper in origami when designing this capsule. The initially folded shape of the prefabricated house can fit on low loaders for efficient and manageable shipping. Once positioned for assembly, the capsule easily folds and unfolds to create a prefabricated and modular, one-story living unit. Born out of the need for emergency shelters around the world, the architects behind the capsule state: “In the middle of a hurricane, you don’t have time for a screwdriver.” With this in mind, the pod was designed in such a way that it can unfold and set up instantly at the push of a button. Structured like a pop-up cardboard box, hinges and hidden panels scattered across the folds of the capsule aid the assembly process of the unit.
Modern-Shed, a leading company for innovative, sustainable, prefabricated structures, listened to our 11:11 wishes and designed Dwelling on Wheels, DW for short. Their Dwelling on Wheels is a 220-square-foot tiny home on wheels that buyers can take out on the streets and set up on shorelines or nearby river beds for overnight and viewing. Built to withstand varying climates and temperatures, a steel rib cage and standing seam metal cladding enclose the exterior of the DW for a durable and weatherproof finish. Complementing the industrial cottage design, red cedar accents warm the walls, eaves, and even the awning of the tiny home that hangs over a durable ironwood deck accessed through the apartment’s double-glazed gable door.
The prefabricated cabins from Brette Haus are literally shipped to you on the back of a trailer. Within 3 hours, the house is placed on the site, unfolded and secured, transforming it from a strange wooden cardboard into a habitable hut with an area between 22 and 47 m² (depending on the cabin variant). Each cabin takes about 8 weeks and is made entirely from climate-neutral, weather-resistant and sustainable cross-laminated timber. A permanent foundation is not required … the cabins can easily be opened on any level surface and fastened with screw piles. The hinges on the cabin can withstand up to 100 folding cycles.
While the term “futuristic sustainability” definitely sounds like jargon, designer Chester Goh explains futuristic sustainability as a design where the architecture is nomadic so you don’t have to build multiple houses. The idea of the Time Holiday mobile home really makes sense from an ecological and economic point of view. The mobile home belongs exclusively to you and is not tied to a location. It gives you the freedom to keep moving, find a convenient place to park and live so you don’t get stuck in expensive cities, broken up into tiny overpriced rental apartments, or hit hard by natural disasters in your neighborhood.