Humble Homes http://humble-homes.com Living Simply & Sustainably Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:18:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Tin Can Cabin – A Shipping Container Home in Wisconsinhttp://humble-homes.com/tin-can-cabin-shipping-container-home-wisconsin/ http://humble-homes.com/tin-can-cabin-shipping-container-home-wisconsin/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:18:49 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11688 This cosy container cabin was constructed by one ambitious man inspired by the recent boom in self-builders taking on the construction of their own homes. The cabin is located in northern Wisconsin and has been dubbed by the owner-builder, the Tin Can Cabin. The Tin Can Cabin is composed of three shipping containers that have […]

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This cosy container cabin was constructed by one ambitious man inspired by the recent boom in self-builders taking on the construction of their own homes. The cabin is located in northern Wisconsin and has been dubbed by the owner-builder, the Tin Can Cabin.

Contain House - Steves Tin Can Cabin - Exterior - Humble Homes

The Tin Can Cabin is composed of three shipping containers that have been repurposed to create his own small home. Steve, the owner and builder behind this unique retreat, took on the whole operation with no professional experience in the building industry.

Contain House - Steves Tin Can Cabin - Interior - Humble Homes

The cabin comes in at 480 square feet (46 square meters). Steve was able to build and furnish his home for just under $36,000 – pretty incredible. The project took almost four years to complete, and prior to starting he decided to consult an engineer in order to avoid any major pitfalls in the construction process.

Contain House - Steves Tin Can Cabin - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Once Steve had decided upon a layout, he was able to order the three contains required to build the home from China (unfortunately not the most eco-friendly of approaches). Upon their arrival the containers were welded together to create the basic shell for the home. Steve splash out on what he calls “a purposefully overbuilt foundation”, which is never a bad idea, but it ended up being one of the most expensive aspects of the project.

Contain House - Steves Tin Can Cabin - Living Room - Humble Homes

Once the containers were secured to the foundation he was able to add a pitched roof using steel box beams, timber rafters and purlins, and galvanizing metal roofing. While not shown here, the roof is also mounted with solar panels to provide for some of the cabins electrical needs. When the roof was completed, Steve contacted a local welder to cut the openings for the windows and to remove the interior walls to create the living space.

Contain House - Steves Tin Can Cabin - Exterior Closed - Humble Homes

The interior is small but cosy; it’s not finished like a lot of the modern homes I feature, with swanky contemporary furniture, but has a more down-to-earth and rustic feel to it. The open plan living area contains the living room, dining room, kitchen and a wood-burning stove. Flanking the kitchen is the bedroom with the toilet on the opposite side.

Interestingly, Steve seems to agree with my own opinion when it comes to creating buildings with shipping containers – usually best avoided. You can read more about it on his blog Tin Can Cabin.

For more container homes check out Poteet Architects modern guest house with a green roof that’s been created using a single shipping container. Or COMMOD by ContainME!, a modern house that contains 100% recycled materials. See all container homes.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: Tin Can Cabin

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Small House in Chibi, Japan by Yuji Kimura Designhttp://humble-homes.com/small-house-chibi-japan-yuji-kimura-design/ http://humble-homes.com/small-house-chibi-japan-yuji-kimura-design/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:42:28 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11666 Japanese architects are renowned for producing some of the most Avant-garde houses, and while this small house by Yuji Kimura Design is more conventional than some, it still boasts some great design features. From the outside the house wouldn’t look out of place in an industrial setting with its metal cladding and boxy appearance. In […]

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Japanese architects are renowned for producing some of the most Avant-garde houses, and while this small house by Yuji Kimura Design is more conventional than some, it still boasts some great design features.

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Exterior - Humble Homes

From the outside the house wouldn’t look out of place in an industrial setting with its metal cladding and boxy appearance. In fact, the industrial box was exactly what the architects were aiming to create: “This house is the appearance of a simple box-shaped like factory, and square holes of large and small with a visual rhythm is open at random.”

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Inteior - Humble Homes

The house is located in a quiet residential district in the Chiba Prefecture. The clients had three main requests for Yuji Kimura Design when creating the plans: it should have a bright and large living space, a private balcony, and a simple appearance like that of factory. To address the privacy issues the house contains several smaller windows that provide adequate natural lighting without revealing the interior to passers-by.

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Living Room - Humble Homes

The balcony (it’s more of an enclosed patio area) is mostly sealed off by the metal cladding, bar the occasional window that punctures through the cladding. Directly below the balcony is a car parking space with two access points.

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Bathroom - Humble Homes

On the inside, the house features a modern clean finish with the white walls offset by the wood of the floor and the ceiling. Incorporating elements of traditional Japanese carpentry, the house contains a post and beam frame. The minimalist feel is extended to the furniture pieces, with tables and chairs that are neither flash nor complicated in appearance or construction.

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Sleeping Space - Humble Homes

All told the house contains 41 square meters (441 square feet) of usable floor space. The first floor of the house holds the bedrooms and the bathroom. The second floor is dedicated to a large open plan living space that contains the kitchen, dining area, living room and the enclosed balcony. By climbing up a small ladder you’ll also reach a small attic space.

House in Chiba - Yuji Kimura Design - Small House - Japanese House - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more Japanese houses check out this small house in Tokyo by Teppei Fujiwara that’s clad with glass on all four sides. Or this 1920′s house that was restored by Shimpei Oda into a modern home. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Takumi Ota

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Mía House Is Built With Modular Materials To Cut Costshttp://humble-homes.com/mia-house-built-modular-materials-cut-costs/ http://humble-homes.com/mia-house-built-modular-materials-cut-costs/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:49:37 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11659 Called Mía House and designed by the Argentinian architecture studio, Matias Pons Estel, this house was created to act as a prototype for future developments. The house is set in a residential neighbourhood near the city of Santo Tome, Santa Fe. With a footprint of 36 square meters (388 square feet) to work with, the […]

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Called Mía House and designed by the Argentinian architecture studio, Matias Pons Estel, this house was created to act as a prototype for future developments. The house is set in a residential neighbourhood near the city of Santo Tome, Santa Fe.

Mía House - Matias Pons Estel - Argentina - Small House - Exterior - Humble Homes

With a footprint of 36 square meters (388 square feet) to work with, the architects focused on creating a functional home. For the ease of installation, maintenance and operation they employed industrial materials into the design of Mía House.

Mía House - Matias Pons Estel - Argentina - Small House - Interior Kitchen - Humble Homes

The “core” of the house is of modular construction and features standardised materials and finishes such as sheet, metal, drywall, and wood. By basing the design around standardised materials they were able to reduce the amount of waste generated and hence reduce the overall costs.

Mía House - Matias Pons Estel - Argentina - Small House - Interior Living Room - Humble Homes

In addition to the modular materials, Matias Pons Estel were also very keen to recycle and reuse different elements. For example, the house contains an exterior deck built with wood pallets, and the interior contains a recycled parquet floor.

Mía House - Matias Pons Estel - Argentina - Small House - Exterior Night - Humble Homes

According to the architects the greatest achievement was being able to simplify the construction methods and tools needed: “During free time, with the help of family and friends, with simple machinery such as a drill, a grinder and a welder, the assembly of each of the components was achieved, which makes this project very unique and valuable.”

Mía House - Matias Pons Estel - Argentina - Small House - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The interior of Mía House features a galley kitchen that flows between a living room with a work desk on the end, and a small dining area. The bathroom can be found sandwiched between the kitchen and the bedroom. The bedroom and kitchen are bathed in light with floor-to-ceiling windows. However, the living room features almost no windows bar those surrounding the workstation. A little unusual compared to other small houses which aim to take advantage of light as much as possible.

For more small houses check out the 12.20 House by Alex Nogueira, which is built in a similar style to Mía House. Or CL House by ADI Arquitectura, who transformed a dilapidated old traditional home into a modern, comfortable townhouse. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Federico Cairoli

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Small Studio Apartment Conversion for a Family in Spainhttp://humble-homes.com/small-studio-apartment-conversion-family-spain/ http://humble-homes.com/small-studio-apartment-conversion-family-spain/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:53:52 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11646 This small studio apartment located near Madrid, Spain, recently underwent a transformation from an unusable, claustrophobic space to a functional and funky holiday home for a family of four. The renovation was designed and managed by the Spanish architecture firm Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos. To make the most of the space available – just 25 square […]

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This small studio apartment located near Madrid, Spain, recently underwent a transformation from an unusable, claustrophobic space to a functional and funky holiday home for a family of four.

Studio in a Mountain Resort - Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos - Madrid Spain - Interior 1 - Humble Homes

The renovation was designed and managed by the Spanish architecture firm Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos. To make the most of the space available – just 25 square meters (269 square feet) – they decided to gut the apartment to create a single open plan space.

Studio in a Mountain Resort - Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos - Madrid Spain - Bunkbeds - Humble Homes

After removing the interior partitions, the architects were then able to install two wooden components – the living area (which also features concealed storage compartments) and the sleeping area. The sleeping volume consists of a bunk-bed with a large queen-sized mattress on the bottom for the adults.

Studio in a Mountain Resort - Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos - Madrid Spain - Dining Table - Humble Homes

The sleeping volume also contains a fold-down table that can be used for dining and other activities. When the table isn’t required it’s simply folded away, allowing the occupants to make better use of the space. The kitchen runs along the length of the studio. To prevent the space from feeling crowded a curtain can be pulled across the kitchen, hiding it from view.

Studio in a Mountain Resort - Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos - Madrid Spain - Storage and Picture Window - Humble Homes

The only part of the studio that hasn’t been reconstructed is the bathroom, which sits towards the rear of the apartment. The front of the apartment now features a large window that looks out onto the surrounding mountain landscape. There’s also a window seat that can be used for relaxing, or as an extra bed.

Studio in a Mountain Resort - Beriot Bernardini Arquitectos - Madrid Spain - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Interestingly, the architects mention that the wooden “sleeping box” can be used like a tent. It can be sealed up to help trap heat, keeping occupants warm when the rest of the apartment is relatively cold. Sleeping in tents has become a bit of a trend among those wishing to save some money on heating bills.

For more apartments check out the Tower Apartment from Paris, a micro-apartment with such a small footprint that it’s split up over several floors. Or this tiny apartment that’s just 377 square feet and set along the Italian Riviera.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Yen Chen

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Moose Road Residence – Affordable Modular-Based Househttp://humble-homes.com/moose-road-residence-affordable-modular-based-house/ http://humble-homes.com/moose-road-residence-affordable-modular-based-house/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:38:46 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11641 Designed by Mork Ulnes Architects and called The Moose Road Residence, this small house has been built on a budget and makes use of materials, typically used for structural applications, to finish the interior (mainly plywood and strand board). The contemporary home is located in the hills of the Ukiah Valley in California, and features […]

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Designed by Mork Ulnes Architects and called The Moose Road Residence, this small house has been built on a budget and makes use of materials, typically used for structural applications, to finish the interior (mainly plywood and strand board).

Moose Road Residence by Mork Ulnes Architects -  Ukiah Valley California - Affordable Housing - Exterior - Humble Homes

The contemporary home is located in the hills of the Ukiah Valley in California, and features views that overlook the vineyards, and mountain ridges below. Mork Ulnes Architects were sensitive to the flora of the site and created a design that would minimise the house’s impact on the surroundings through the use of off-the-shelf components. They also decided to position the house in such a way so as to avoid the roots of several nearby oak trees.

Moose Road Residence by Mork Ulnes Architects -  Ukiah Valley California - Affordable Housing - Entry - Humble Homes

Moose Road Residence is supported by steel “stilts” and contains three large openings that aim to provide the best views of the surrounding landscape. The architects based the overall dimensions of the house on modular building materials like plywood, allowing them to cut the cost to under $190 per square foot.

Moose Road Residence by Mork Ulnes Architects -  Ukiah Valley California - Affordable Housing - Interior - Humble Homes

According to the website Home Cost, the average cost for a 2,400 square foot home in California comes in at around $130 per square foot. Considering the quality of the finishes for the Moose Road Residence (both inside and out – just check out that exterior cladding) I think they’ve done rather well.

Moose Road Residence by Mork Ulnes Architects -  Ukiah Valley California - Affordable Housing - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The crisp finish of the steel siding on the outside is at ends with the more rustic, but still modern, birch plywood finish on the inside. The wood gives the interior a more rustic feel, and its light tone helps to reflect light further into the core of the house.

Moose Road Residence by Mork Ulnes Architects -  Ukiah Valley California - Affordable Housing - Living Room - Humble Homes

The entrance is a discrete affair – there are no give-away’s until it’s within clear view. After the rather humble entrance, you’re taken into a surprisingly spacious open plan kitchen and dining area that leads into the other sections of the home. The bedrooms are contained in the small wings, whereas the social areas like the living room are more generously proportioned. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find out how big this home is, but based on plywood sheets, I’d say it’s around 500 square foot.

For more small houses check out star of Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser’s small homey cabin. Or this summerhouse built by Rosario Talevi on a limited budget for her mother. See all small houses.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: Bruce Damonte

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NOMAD Micro Homes First Prototype Goes On Displayhttp://humble-homes.com/nomad-micro-homes-first-prototype-goes-on-display/ http://humble-homes.com/nomad-micro-homes-first-prototype-goes-on-display/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:07:20 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11468 It’s always great to see designs go from concept to reality, and following on from their successful KickStarter campaign, NOMAD Micro Homes have been working steadily on their first full-scale prototype. The picture of the house still under construction with one of the walls still be to installed, shows just how much NOMAD manages to […]

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It’s always great to see designs go from concept to reality, and following on from their successful KickStarter campaign, NOMAD Micro Homes have been working steadily on their first full-scale prototype.

Nomad Micro Homes Tiny House Prototype 1 - Humble Homes

The picture of the house still under construction with one of the walls still be to installed, shows just how much NOMAD manages to fit – rather elegantly – into such a small space. The house walls are composed of Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs are usually composed of two sheets of OSB and a foam-based core, providing both resistance to loads and insulation.

Nomad Micro Homes Tiny House Prototype - SIP Construction - Humble Homes

However, looking at the wall profile it appears that the NOMAD makes use of SIPs faced with metal sheeting. Certain metal SIPs can use a “snap-lock” system which reduces the amount of cold-bridging compared to timber-based SIPs. Although I’m not sure if that’s being used here.

Nomad Micro Homes Tiny House Prototype - Living Area - Humble Homes

According to their Facebook, a four-person team were able to disassemble and flat-pack the house in just 3.5 hours (including the appliances and the toilet). That’s pretty amazing, and it’s within the same kind of time frame that modern transitional shelters adhere to, despite its much more permanent nature. Rebuilding the structure took a little longer, about 12 hours.

Nomad Micro Homes Tiny House Prototype - Staircase and Kitchen - Humble Homes

The interior of the prototype is also starting to take shape. The downstairs level is occupied by the kitchen, living room and bathroom. The large 9.3 foot double glazed window provides more than enough light for the snug home. But the real winner here (for me) is the staircase, which combines shelving, worktop surfaces and, of course, stairs into a single component, while also being super sleek.

For more tiny houses check out this 93 square foot boiler house that’s been transformed into a tiny house by Christi Azevedo. Or this micro-house that’s been specifically designed for students by Tengbom Architects in Sweden. See all tiny houses.

Photos: NOMAD Micro Homes

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Treehouse Solling – A Modern Retreat Set Among The Foresthttp://humble-homes.com/treehouse-solling-modern-retreat-set-among-forest/ http://humble-homes.com/treehouse-solling-modern-retreat-set-among-forest/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:07:23 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11598 I’ve featured some of Baumraum’s work in the past, like the Riverview Treehouse. This contemporary marvel, called Treehouse Solling, features Baumraum’s signature style; a modern, curvaceous living pod clad in steel and timber set a top of stilts. The treehouse is located near a small town called Uslar in Lower Saxony, Germany. The land was […]

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I’ve featured some of Baumraum’s work in the past, like the Riverview Treehouse. This contemporary marvel, called Treehouse Solling, features Baumraum’s signature style; a modern, curvaceous living pod clad in steel and timber set a top of stilts.

Treehouse Solling by Baumraum - Uslar Germany - Treehouse - Exterior - Humble Homes

The treehouse is located near a small town called Uslar in Lower Saxony, Germany. The land was purchased by the client due to its amazing setting; a small side valley with several small ponds surrounded by forest and greenery. The property also came with an old forester’s house that required considerable repairs before it could serve as a home.

Treehouse Solling by Baumraum - Uslar Germany - Treehouse - Decking - Humble Homes

Once the house was restored the owners then decided to (sensitively) landscape the surrounding grounds. The end result is a “nature lover’s delight”, and features natural stone walls, newly planted indigenous trees and two artificial ponds. Given the makeover the site had received, the site was, according to Baumraum, “the perfect location for a treehouse”.

Treehouse Solling by Baumraum - Uslar Germany - Treehouse - Balcony - Humble Homes

The treehouse has been designed to serve as a getaway, not only for their young son, but for their friends and family too. The treehouse is a two-storey structure, set in the lower of the two artificial ponds, and can be accessed by a long timber terrace.

Treehouse Solling by Baumraum - Uslar Germany - Treehouse - Seating - Humble Homes

The lower floor of the treehouse acts as a lounge which can be used either as a social venue, or as a quiet retreat. The lounge is surrounded with custom seating that doubles as storage space. The upper floor of the treehouse is accessed by the exterior staircase, and leads up to a sleeping area. The “bedroom” contains a large mattress (again, with storage built in) and a large curved skylight that provides amazing views of the sky.

Treehouse Solling by Baumraum - Uslar Germany - Treehouse - Loft - Humble Homes

Like all good treehouses, Treehouse Solling contains floor hatch allowing you to clamber between the two levels. From Baumraum: “During the day, the treehouse serves as a vantage point for observing the creatures in the water and the adjoining meadows. At night, the upper room is a comfortable place to sleep and dream and, when the skies are clear, to gaze at the stars through the domed skylight.”

For more treehouses check out La Casa del Árbol, a treehouse in Ecuador whose main attraction is it’s cliff-side rope swing. Or River View Treehouse, another retreat by Baumraum in Germany that overlooks a nearby river. See all treehouses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Markus Bollen

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Small Cabin in the Swiss Alps is Cosy Family Retreathttp://humble-homes.com/small-cabin-swiss-alps-cosy-family-retreat/ http://humble-homes.com/small-cabin-swiss-alps-cosy-family-retreat/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:19:09 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=11590 Swiss architecture firm, Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes, undertook the restoration of this once dilapidated traditional cabin in 2012. With a footprint of just 16 square meters (172 square feet) it was a challenging project that aimed to make the best use of space so as to provide for a family. Located in the Alps of Le […]

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Swiss architecture firm, Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes, undertook the restoration of this once dilapidated traditional cabin in 2012. With a footprint of just 16 square meters (172 square feet) it was a challenging project that aimed to make the best use of space so as to provide for a family.

Boisset House in Switzerland by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes - Exterior - Humble Homes

Located in the Alps of Le Biolley, Switzerland, the small cabin was originally used to for the storage of agricultural equipment. Over time the cabin was abandoned and its most recent renovation has seen it transformed into a comfortable, sleek holiday home.

Boisset House in Switzerland by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes - Interior - Humble Homes

The cabin is a mixture of old and new. The exterior stonework and timber cladding harks back to the traditional aesthetic and building techniques of the region, and was left (for the most part) as it was. Whereas, the interior is very crisp and clean with its wood-clad surfaces and minimalist décor.

Boisset House in Switzerland by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The house is comprised of three floors. The entryway is found on the middle floor and opens up to a small open plan kitchen/dining/living area. The main focus of the rather confined space is the exterior environment, framed by the floor-to-ceiling window that covers the entire end-wall.

Boisset House in Switzerland by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The lower level contains a bathroom and queen-sized bunk bed for the children. There’s also a large storage closest for items like clothing and toys. The uppermost level of the cabin contains the master bedroom, a relatively spacious room compared to the rest of the house, complete with its own balcony.

Boisset House in Switzerland by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

During the restoration the window openings were increased to take full advantage of solar gain during the harsh winter months. They also have the benefit of providing amazing views of the surrounding valley. The contrast between the old and new, and the attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the renewed cabin, helps to make the space warm, inviting and intimate.

For more winter cabins check out La Luge from Quebec which serves as a small but luxury winter retreat for a family. Or this gorgeous little timber cabin in Italy that’s been designed by EM2 Architekten. See all cabins.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Thomas Jantscher

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