German architect Han Slawik created his Homebox design based on the shipping container building model, taking into consideration the ease of transport, universal dimensions and general usefulness of shipping containers. However, the Homebox is not made from an actual steel shipping container. Slawik simply took all the best parts of shipping container architecture and modified it to be easier to build and maintain. Modification of steel structures during the building process, as well as the subsequent repair and maintenance is costly, which is one of the drawbacks of building homes from shipping containers.
Designed by Fujiwaramuro Architects and located in rural Tokushima, Japan, this Hanoura house provides a seamless transition between the inside and outside with a primary focus on natural cross-ventilation, minimizing the need for lighting and utilities. You’ll also notice the wide open main living space is entirely curtain-free, one benefit to living in such a secluded area.
Located in Karjaa, Finland, “Apelle” is a wooden home by architect Marco Casagrande that resembles a cozy one-family home as much as it does a stranded boat in the middle of the woods. It may be rurally located in a country known for harsh, icy winters, but geothermal energy keeps it warm and cozy without the use of dirty energy sources.
Next year’s SUPRASTUDIO program at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design will be all about going off the grid on an urban scale.
In a recent discussion with Dennis Shelden, Craig Webb, and Andrew Witt of Gehry Technologies, Frank Gehry talks about how, early in his career, he would get upset when electricians came into his buildings and punched holes in the walls to put wires in. Considering that the aerospace industry is developing systems for Skylab that were miniaturized and light, Gehry started to think about how to change the way we solve problems in urban design to be less dependent on distribution systems.
Charles Finn is equal parts woodsmith and wordsmith, a quite inspiring combination. As a self-taught woodworker, author, and freelance writer, he is known for his work with the High Desert Journal and contribution to Lloyd Kahn’s “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter” book. However, we are not here for his literary accomplishments – Finn is also known around the world for his tiny microhomes inspired by Japanese tea houses.
This tiny Fiscavaig Hen House by Rural Design near the Isle of Skye in Scotland was designed with the local ancient landscape in mind. With a need to minimize its environmental impact and provide virtually no disruption to the surrounding area, the tiny timber home rests on stilts and is only 70 square meters in size.