A while back, I mentioned The Crib, an “enviresponsible shelter” by Broadhurst Architects that can be used as a weekend cabin, backyard office, exercise studio, or guest house — you name it. Well it’s time for a short update from our last article, if you haven’t already noticed, that a 250 square-foot Crib was built on the grounds of the Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s being used as a visual arts studio, a lab, and a gallery and is open to visitors during certain events and various other times.
Take a moment to notice what’s happening across the pond. This is the Tetra Shed, a inventive building system that uses up to six modules to create extra space — home office, play space, beach hut, pop-up retail — in most any location. The exterior can be custom painted or finished with copper, zinc, corten steel, or marine plywood, while the interior can be finished with LED lights and birch-faced plywood or plasterboard. Tetra Shed, designed by David Ajasa-Adekunle, arrives in the UK in January 2012.
Over Thanksgiving break, I enjoyed reading about this small, energy-efficient home in North Carolina built using the Harbinger plan offered by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Built to International Building Code requirements, the plan includes a loft, home office, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and deck — tightly placed in less than 500 square feet! Details are hard to come by, but Tumbleweed sells this plan for $695 and estimates that it costs about $33,000 in materials to build.
Austin-based Sett Studio makes unique and inventive prefab studios ranging in size from about 97 to 192 square feet. The company pairs modern design with energy-efficient construction to create what can be used as a home office, art studio, yoga space, kids room, game room, or guest room. Plus, a Sett Studio can be had for about $20,000 – $30,000, depending on the model.
King County in Washington has about 26,000 acres of parks and open spaces with trails, trees, and streams. To help people stay overnight in these areas, the county held a design competition — Little Footprint, Big Forest — to create an overnight structure from a surplus, reclaimed, 20-foot shipping container. The winning design was just announced and it comes from none other than HyBrid Architecture, the firm behind the cargo container-based Sunset Idea House 2011.
KitHAUS makes kit structures like this one with a bolt-together aluminum frame and SIPs floors, walls, and ceiling. With 117 square feet, the kitHAUS K3 is being used on a Shea Homes project in San Diego as a leasing office, though it could easily be used elsewhere as an artist studio or home office. A Halcyon model mini-split from Fujitsu cools the space, which costs about $40k with decks and accessories (but not the mini-split).