Many of us hope to reduce our carbon footprint but only a few are able to truly achieve it. Here’s a home in the Netherlands, designed by Gijs Coumou and Gijsbert Schutten of Liberté Tiny Houses, that defines how future houses should be built—minimally with just enough space to live comfortably.
Inspired by Mother Nature
Just like any other project, the design process took shape as per the needs and requirements of the client. In this case, the client was passionate about the outdoors and loved walking, hiking and camping in and around the forest. “Our client came to us with just one ‘simple’ request: a tiny house with an organic feel and one which would fit in a forest. The shape of the house was inspired by a leaf. If you fold a leaf, it will fold around the grains and create lines—this was our main inspiration,” says Schutten.
The house’s exterior has a striking resemblance to the skeletal structure of a leaf and is complemented by an angular wood-lined external façade.
The mobile, minimalistic home is as tiny as 182-square-feet. Due to its small square footage, the layout had to be basic, with the inclusion of a simple kitchen with a stove, and a small basic bathroom with a sink, shower and compost-toilet. The house has essential storage units and an angular book shelf.
The house accommodates a folding table as well as a small bench apart from an open-air deck. All the furniture is inbuilt, geometric and most of it is multi-functional. Since the client likes to utilise the floor for sitting, seating is minimal and includes a salvaged tree stump.
The slatted windows are large, giving the house an airy and spacious vibe. On one side, the windows extend right down to the floor which makes the interiors blend seamlessly with the outdoors. Big, open blinds adorn the windows; their design inspired by the shape of a tree top that scatters and filters the sunlight.
Since the materials had to blend with the outdoors, the internal colours were kept dark and deep. “We selected Thermo Radiata Pine for the brown cladding and Fraser which is black wood, on one side for contrast,” adds Schutten. The interiors also bear a natural look and are done using ‘pinus’ plywood. Needless to say, the roof is also in wood. The flooring is Gray vinyl which breaks the monotony of wooden tones and gives the abode an industrial look.
The project which was completed in ten weeks was not without challenges. The geometry was a major challenge as it was quite hard to translate this kind of design to reality from the drawing board and 3D model. “Due to this, rework was common; an entire wall had to be redone one time as one of the connecting planes was twisting,” says Schutten. A key point to note is the fact that there is not a single straight wall in the house which was also a challenge as it was hard to work with a reference plane.
According to the designers, it was a thoroughly enjoyable project despite all the challenges as it gave them a chance to do something they had never attempted before. “While we will continue to build tiny houses and mobile cabins. One of our biggest dreams is to design and build more movable, off grid cabins for remote places like a mountain or somewhere high up in the Alps,” Schutten says.
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