Homes Getting Cheaper and Smaller by Design

With the global economy in a less than premium position, sustainable micro-houses might be awaiting us all in the future.
Pat Fogarty
Published on March 02, 2011

Home ownership. It’s the great Australian dream. And the American dream. And probably a dream for quite a few other nationalities too. But with house prices almost constantly on the rise, the dream can seem unattainable. So how about a home that costs just $200? That’s what this ‘Gypsy Junker’ cost, built from abandoned shipping pallets and recycled materials by Derek Diedricksen, a micro-house enthusiast in Massachusetts.

The aim was to design and build a shelter for homeless people, for as little as possible. With only 24 square feet of space, estate agents would no doubt dub it ‘extremely cosy’. While the ‘Gypsy Junker’ was built by a hobbyist to prove the concept, smaller and more affordable housing is a goal for architects too.

Revelations Architects in Wisconsin have focused on the fundamental uses of a home – eating, bathing, sleeping and communal fellowship – and worked out they could squeeze it all in to a footprint of just 340 square feet. Named the E.D.G.E (Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment), the building is pre-fabricated to simplify construction, and the reconfigurable interior is designed to optimise the use of space. The architects are already working on the next version, and hope to see it put to use as a holiday retreat or full time residence.

If you’re thinking: “Tiny houses are fine in America, but we don’t need that here,” think again. There are already plans for a micro-house in Sydney, where a judge wants to build a four story house on a 2.7 metre wide block of land. Down-sized dwellings might be the way of the future for all of us.

[Via Neatorama and PSFK]

Published on March 02, 2011 by Pat Fogarty
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