tiny houses on wheels, in transit

We can’t resist the allure of tiny houses on wheels as they travel down the road. Here are our favorite examples from this past year, surely destined to become icons.

Meeting on the road:  One tiny house accelerated and passed by another on a quiet Western U.S. highway, during Autumn 2013.

Tumbleweed Elm passes Tiny Project home (The Tiny Project)

Tumbleweed Elm passes Tiny Project home (The Tiny Project)

Rounding the curve:  This tiny place is leaving its Sonoma, California build site, and heading east towards Oklahoma City.

House leaves California wine country (Long Story Short House)

House leaves California wine country (Long Story Short House)

Jumping for joy: One couple, their dog, and tiny home will travel all next year. Here’s their first test drive, at a turnaround point.

House at road's end, in California (Tiny House Giant Journey)

House at road’s end, in California (Tiny House Giant Journey)

Taking a ferry: Heading from Canada to Alaska, this tiny house parks in the ferry and looks a little different than neighboring vehicles.

House takes short cut to Alaska (Tumbleweed)

House takes over-water short cut to Alaska (Tumbleweed)

Visiting the White House: A tiny blue home heads through security before reaching its Makers’ Faire parking spot.

House driven carefully into the White House (Wishbone)

House driven carefully into the White House (Wishbone)

Animating an icon: This little house barrels down the road under its own steam. We think the cardboard and felt roof needs to get fixed soon.

House steam-chugs along, by Philippa Rice (Cardboard Life)

moderns for homeless & well-offs

Is there a convergence in modern homes for homeless and well-off people? Homes may be similar based on archetypal roof-lines, shapes and open living areas. Green standards also translate into similar energy saving and sourcing approaches.

Costs can get controlled via standard designs, material choices, modular or pre-fab construction, home size and build location. We’ve heard about snazzy moderns already designed for some homeless, who live where buffalo roam.

Fort Peck home by Architecture For Humanity (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Architecture For Humanity (Make It Right)

Introducing the Fort Peck homes

Welcome to Fort Peck Reservation, Montana, where the unemployment rate is 50+ percent and residents wait years for substandard homes. It’s a well-picked place for building family houses meant to last.

Brad Pitt’s Make It Right team and collaborators began working with residents last year. “This is the first time in 130 years that anyone has asked us, ‘What do you want your home to look like?’” declared Dr. Ken Ryan, local historian.

Fast forward, and five homes have been designed with sharp looks, livability and LEED platinum certification in mind. We’re not surprised these moderns received attention from Fine Homebuilding, Archdaily and Building Design.

What’s next? Make It Right has initially pledged 20 homes and another 80 units are planned. Your donations are appreciated here. Over the next year, expect to see these homes improve many lives.

Fort Peck home by Living Homes (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Living Homes (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Method Homes (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Method Homes (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Graft Home Design (Make It Right)

Fort Peck home by Graft Home Design (Make It Right)

1945 homeless shelter, for $2.5 mm

Yes, a 1945 homeless shelter designed by architect Jean Prouve is available for $2.5 million. With two originals in existence, Gallerie Patrick Seguin priced the early pre-fab like a rare masterwork.

See this 689 square-foot structure get assembled, video here.

Prouve’s shelters were designed for homeless families, whose towns were destroyed during World War II. Surprisingly, they incorporate new construction techniques, materials and other flourishes. Let’s take a closer look at the exterior and interior of our house-for-sale.

Designed 60 years ago, the metal framing and natural wood cladding look modern today. Notice the large glass panels are slightly angled away from house, an interesting touch from architect Prouve. (Patrick Seguin)

Designed 60 years ago, the metal framing and natural wood cladding look modern today. Notice the large glass panels are slightly angled away from the house, an interesting touch from architect Prouve. (Patrick Seguin)

Welcome to the empty interior of the Prouve shelter. Bent steel is used for the load-bearing, axial portal frame system. The architect developed and patented this "demountable" approach in 1938. (Patrick Seguin)

Welcome to the empty interior of the Prouve shelter. Bent steel is used for the load-bearing, axial portal frame system. The architect developed and patented this “demountable” approach in 1938. (Patrick Seguin)

Now staged with a mid-century daybed, desk, chairs, side table and shelves, the Prouve place looks cool. As a post-war shelter, we imagine more spartan decor, sleeping quarters and a small kitchen too. (Patrick Seguin)

Now staged with a mid-century daybed, desk, chairs, side table and shelves, the Prouve place looks cool. As a post-war shelter, we imagine more spartan decor, sleeping quarters and a small kitchen too. (Patrick Seguin)

teenies are cuter than tinies

Today we are going to share three wonderful houses on wheels. What’s different is their size, because they are teeny versions of the real tinies. Can you say absurdly cute?

Teeny Model of Tumbleweed Elm: A talented miniaturist, Blondie, created a tiny house on a perfect 1:12 scale. She chose an Elm from Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, furnishing the place with Bohemian and Victorian decor. What an amazing effort!

This Tumbleweed Elm teeny can't be ignored with such bold colors. Has it has just been moved here? (Teenie-Tow)

This Tumbleweed Elm teeny can’t be ignored with such bold colors. Has it just been moved here? (Teenie-Tow)

With the roof removed, check out the loft above and floor plan below. It seems like everything's in place. (Teenie-Tow)

With the roof removed, check out the loft above and floor plan below. It seems like everything’s in place. (Teenie-Tow)

Inside the teeny Elm and great room, notice plenty of traditional furniture and seating options -- and a cat. (Teenie-Tow)

Inside the teeny Elm and great room, notice plenty of traditional furniture and seating options — and a cat. (Teenie-Tow)

Teeny Model of Brevard Robin’s Nest: Before building a brand-new style, Brevard Tiny Houses constructed a teeny Robin’s Nest. The builder first wanted to share details with and receive approvals from the buyer. We’re impressed by the teeny and tiny results.

This teeny-sized Brevard Robin's Nest is adorable, with its left porch, sleeping dormer roof and robin blue door. (Brevard)

This teeny-sized Brevard Robin’s Nest is adorable, with its left porch, sleeping dormer roof and robin blue door. (Brevard)

Robin's Nest teeny and tiny homes are shown together. The tiny one has been delivered to a Florida customer. (Brevard)

Robin’s Nest teeny and tiny homes are seen together. The tiny one has been delivered to a Florida customer. (Brevard)

Peeking inside the Robin's Nest, we see its great room, kitchen, bathroom door to right and loft ahead. (Brevard)

Peeking inside the Robin’s Nest, we see its great room, kitchen, bathroom door to right and loft ahead. (Brevard)

Teeny Model of Tumbleweed Cypress: Four years ago, Kyle dreamed about and constructed a Tumbleweed Cypress model from popsicle sticks. He and his wife Danae just began their real tiny build on a 24-foot trailer, based in Kansas. It helps that Kyle works in residential construction.

This Tumbleweed Cypress teeny shows an interior plan with left entry, nook, rear kitchen and bath. (schmidts2x)

This Tumbleweed Cypress teeny shows an interior plan with left entry, nook, rear kitchen and bath. (schmidts2x)

Kyle and Danae are testing two of the window cut-outs, and they seem to work fine. (schmidts2x)

Kyle and Danae are testing two of the window cut-outs, and they seem to work fine. (schmidts2x)

Here's the modified Cypress under construction, with sheathing complete and the roof getting installed. (schmidts2x)

Here’s the modified Cypress under construction, with sheathing complete and the roof getting installed. (schmidts2x)

one cute tiny house can be moved

One cute tiny house caught our eye because of its shape, inspired by a farmer’s traditional corn crib which stores and dries crops. The place seems like an elegant take on a Dr. Seuss type house, right?

Yet the Crib surprised us with an intelligent, environmentally-sound and moveable design. The structure gets shop-fabricated and quickly assembled on-site, and may be dismantled and relocated elsewhere. Let’s take a look.

The Crib Exterior

This very-first Crib house, in rural Maryland, contains a masonry foundation due to its river floodplain. Standard Crib design is reflected in the upper level structure. (Broadhurst)

This very-first Crib house, in rural Maryland, contains a masonry foundation due to its river floodplain. Standard Crib design is reflected in the upper level structure. (Broadhurst)

The Crib prototype gets displayed at the Strathmore Arts Center, in Bethesda, MD. There's visitor interest in secondary units behind homes as well as small getaways. (Broadhurst)

The Crib prototype gets displayed at the Strathmore Arts Center, in Bethesda, Maryland. There’s visitor interest in secondary units behind homes as well as small getaways. (Broadhurst)

By raising a garage-like glass wall, the Strathmore Crib prototype effectively increases its liveable square footage with the porch area. (Broadhurst)

By raising a garage-like glass wall, the Strathmore Crib prototype effectively increases its liveable square footage with the porch area. (Broadhurst)

The Crib Interior

Here is the Crib's interior, complete with a sleeping loft, kitchen and great room. The kitchen is part of a box, which closes to reveal the TV on the outside. (Broadhurst)

Here is the Crib’s interior, complete with a sleeping loft, kitchen and great room. The kitchen is part of a box, which closes to reveal the TV on the outside. (Broadhurst)

From the sleeping loft, you get a bird's eye view into the great room. It features plenty of comfortable seating for such a tiny house. (Broadhurst)

From the sleeping loft, you get a bird’s eye view into the great room. It features plenty of comfortable seating for such a tiny house. (Broadhurst)

The interior plus exterior space looks expansive when the garage-like glass wall is lifted. There's an entire new dining room outside! (Broadhurst)

The interior plus exterior space looks expansive when the garage-like glass wall is lifted. There’s an entire new dining room outside! (Broadhurst)

The Crib: An Enviresponsible Shelter

This tiny house is intelligently designed with structural insulated panels (SIPs), insulated glass and multi-layer polycarbonate panels. Steel, aluminum and rubber are also used in construction. Here’s how Broadhurst Architects describes assembly:

  • “The main structure consists of two shop-fabricated galvanized steel bents that combine the concept of traditional wood timber framing with the structural simplicity of common scaffolding systems.”
  • “The floor and roof consist of structural insulated panels (SIPs) which are supported by engineered wood and steel beams that span between the bents.”
  • “Prefabricated wall panels made of unpainted heat-treated native and sustainable poplar and recyclable translucent insulating multi-layer polycarbonate sheets are weather-stripped and clipped into the framework.”

Heat can be from a propane fireplace, radiant floor heat and/or solar hot water and voltaics. Other features include rainwater catchment for showers and gardening, LED/CFL lights and a fan rather than air conditioner.

Our favorite building feature is the anti-rodent and anti-other animal proofing for when the home isn’t in use. Building above ground definitely helps out.

For more details, please reach Broadhurst Architects here or here.

no more library and office detritus

Once the detritus of going digital, library catalogs and office files now make regular appearances inside our homes. Their wood or metal cabinets are often used to create a throwback, industrial-style look.

As a small house solution, these simple cabinets actually hide and organize your stuff. Let’s see a few examples that look swell in their surroundings.

Look at this large library catalog, tucked under floating stairs in the great room. Since an HGTV designer, Genevieve Gorder, lives here, we wonder what's hidden in the drawers. (HGTV)

Look at this large library catalog, tucked under floating stairs in the great room. Since an HGTV designer, Genevieve Gorder, lives here, we wonder what’s hidden in the drawers. (HGTV)

In Spain, a large office cabinet contains 20 drawers. All this bedroom storage is terrific, though may require a tall person to reach the top files. (Elle Spain)

In Spain, a large office cabinet contains 20 drawers. All this bedroom storage is terrific, though may require a tall person to reach the top files. (Elle Spain)

French designer Maurice Padovani renewed a Marseilles beach home with an industrial vibe. Two former office cabinets have positions of honor in this great room. (Homedsgn.com)

French designer Maurice Padovani renewed a Marseilles beach home with an industrial vibe. Two former office cabinets have positions of honor in this great room. (Homedsgn.com)

Surprise! An old and ugly chest of drawers gets renewed with a library catalog veneer. What looks like three drawers across opens to a single, more useful drawer. (Twice Lovely)

Surprise! An old and ugly chest of drawers gets renewed with a library catalog veneer. What looks like three drawers across opens to a single, more useful drawer. (Twice Lovely)

Mid-century goes industrial in this new dresser with pewter, bronze and brass pulls. It could be used in a great room or bedroom. Measures 48" W x 15" D x 36.5" H. (Dot and Bo)

Mid-century goes industrial in this new dresser with pewter, bronze and brass pulls. It could be used in a great room or bedroom. Measures 48″ W x 15″ D x 36.5″ H. (Dot and Bo)

architizer’s top small houses of 2014

Architizer, a meeting ground for architects and designers, has announced their 2014 awards. In the Single Family Homes XS category under 1,000 square feet, three finalists and two winners were selected. For inspiration, check out the exterior and interior images of all five homes.

The Two Winners

Architizer Jury Winner: New Zealand. An industrial and wood beach home is installed on sleds for moving. From architects Crosson Clarke Carnachan. (Hut on Sleds)

Architizer Jury Winner: New Zealand. An industrial and wood beach home is installed on sleds for moving. From architect Crosson Clarke Carnachan. (Hut on Sleds)

New Zealand Interior: In this beach-side place, there's nicely finished wood and shelves line all the walls! You'll find upscale appliances and treatments too. (Hut on Sleds)

New Zealand Interior: In this beach-side place, there’s nicely finished wood and shelves line all the walls! You’ll find upscale appliances and treatments too. (Hut on Sleds)

Architizer Popular Winner: Spain. This perfectly compact home has been placed in a large field, complete with sheep. From architect and builder Abiton. (Portable Home)

Architizer Popular Winner: Spain. This perfectly compact home has been placed in a large field, complete with sheep. From architect and builder Abiton. (Portable Home)

Spain Interior: In this prefab, there's plenty of space for a great room, sleeping area and the comforts of home. (Portable Home)

Spain Interior: In this prefab, there’s plenty of space for a great room, sleeping area and the comforts of home. (Portable Home)

Other Three Finalists

Architizer Finalist: Australia. The upper-level boxes not only add a master suite but also create visual interest in a cottage. From architect Andrew Maynard. (Moor Street)

Architizer Finalist: Australia. The upper-level boxes not only add a master suite but also create visual interest in a cottage. From architect Andrew Maynard. (Moor Street)

Australia Interior: In a small cottage, it's possible to fit a family of four when space expands to indoor-outdoor living. (Moor Street)

Australia Interior: In a small cottage, it’s possible to fit a family of four when space expands to indoor-outdoor living. (Moor Street)

Architizer Finalist: USA. This three winged structure is built on steel stilts to avoid tree roots, in Ukiah, CA. From architect Mork Ulnes (Moose Road)

Architizer Finalist: USA. This three winged structure is built on steel stilts to avoid tree roots, in Ukiah, CA. From architect Mork Ulnes. (Moose Road)

USA Interior: A sustainable design includes open interiors made from off-the-shelf plywood and OSB board. (Moose Road)

USA Interior: A sustainable design includes open interiors made from off-the-shelf plywood and OSB board. (Moose Road)

Architizer Finalist: Switzerland. An exposed concrete cube gets tucked naturally into the mountainside. From architect Lischer Partner Architekten Planer. (Ferienhaus Vitznau)

Architizer Finalist: Switzerland. An exposed concrete cube gets tucked naturally into the mountainside. From architect Lischer Partner Architekten Planer. (Ferienhaus Vitznau)

Switzerland Interior: Here you find a clean, wood interior as well as spectacular views right above Lake Lucerne. (Ferienhaus Vitznau)

Switzerland Interior: Here you find a clean, wood interior as well as spectacular views right above Lake Lucerne. (Ferienhaus Vitznau)