Architecture

Tiny cabins will offer low-impact vacations in the Azores

Tiny cabins will offer low-imp...
TADA plans a total of six eco-resorts in various locations around the Azores
TADA plans a total of six eco-resorts in various locations around the Azores
View 14 Images
The EcoPods come in three sizes, but even the biggest is pretty small
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The EcoPods come in three sizes, but even the biggest is pretty small
TADA plans a total of six eco-resorts in various locations around the Azores
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TADA plans a total of six eco-resorts in various locations around the Azores
The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)
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The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)
The EcoPods are based on stilts made from recycled electricity poles 
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The EcoPods are based on stilts made from recycled electricity poles 
Building an EcoPod takes three people two days
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Building an EcoPod takes three people two days
The materials used to build the EcoPods include locally-sourced pumice stone, local timber, and windows made from recycled plastic bottles
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The materials used to build the EcoPods include locally-sourced pumice stone, local timber, and windows made from recycled plastic bottles
TADA architect John Shenton told us that the EcoPod shells are tough, to ensure they can withstand the local seismic activity in the Azores
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TADA architect John Shenton told us that the EcoPod shells are tough, to ensure they can withstand the local seismic activity in the Azores
The EcoPods feature a sunken seating area
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The EcoPods feature a sunken seating area
The EcoPods get all power from solar panels
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The EcoPods get all power from solar panels
Access to the EcoPods is gained by a small hatch-like doorway
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Access to the EcoPods is gained by a small hatch-like doorway
The same basic EcoPod design is also used as a pavilion  
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The same basic EcoPod design is also used as a pavilion  
The first EcoPod resort is currently under construction in the Vila Franca Do Campo Region of Sao Miguel Island
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The first EcoPod resort is currently under construction in the Vila Franca Do Campo Region of Sao Miguel Island
The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft) and doesn't include a toilet or kitchen facilities other than a refrigerator
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The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft) and doesn't include a toilet or kitchen facilities other than a refrigerator
The largest EcoPod measures 30 sq m (322 sq ft) and includes a kitchenette and bathroom
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The largest EcoPod measures 30 sq m (322 sq ft) and includes a kitchenette and bathroom
View gallery - 14 images

The Azores, the beautiful group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean, has seen an increase in tourism recently. In a bid to capitalize on this while stopping the unspoiled landscape from getting, well, spoiled, the Tourism and Agribusiness Development Company of the Azores (TADA) is developing eco-resorts throughout the islands that feature solar-powered cabins.

TADA plans six eco-resorts around the Azores, but the first is under construction in the Vila Franca Do Campo Region of São Miguel Island. Due to open in the second quarter of 2017, it will feature an as-yet undecided number of the cabins, dubbed EcoPods, based on three models.

The smallest measures 15 sq m (161 sq ft) and includes a coffee machine, a refrigerator, a sunken seating area, a TV, and a raised sleeping area. Because of the lack of space, the bathroom is outside and it's heated by an external wood burner.

The next size up is 20 sq m (215 sq ft) and includes the above, plus a small inside bathroom. The largest model sizes up at 30 sq m (322 sq ft), it's relatively roomy and includes the above plus a small kitchenette.

Bicycles, both human-powered and the electric kind, will be on-site for visitors to explore the local area, and other outdoor activities like hiking will also be on the menu.

The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)
The smallest EcoPod measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)

The EcoPods are prefabricated and sit atop stilts made from recycled electricity poles. The materials used include in construction include locally-sourced pumice stone, windows made from recycled plastic bottles, and locally-grown timber.

TADA architect John Shenton told us that they are pretty tough, to ensure they can withstand the active seismic activity in the Azores, in addition to high-winds.

They'll get power from a solar panel array. Due to planning issues, composting toilets aren't currently installed, but the cabins instead have standard toilets with septic tanks.

TADA hopes to put its EcoPods to other uses too, including, possibly, disaster relief. The firm also has additional eco-resort projects in the works in Morocco and the Middle East.

Source: TADA

View gallery - 14 images
6 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Boy, I sure feel sorry for those builders and carpenters who get to put those things together! Gonna give the old miter saws a real workout on that one! (Wonder how much scrap lumber is generated due to the wrong angle getting cut!) ☺
Zachary E. Mohrmann
I like it...! It's different, and different is good because not everyone wants to look the same, as in fashion... As for scrap lumber as this person may suggest, well let's just say he wont ever be working for me if this design is so complex for his or her talents...! It'just not that complicated....
Island Architect
Having lived in the Goetsch Winkler house and now in the Mies Townhouses in Lafayette Park, I'd have to say that there was one great thing about Mies... the aphorism that "Less Is More" also works for Complexity because complexity adds wasted human time.
ljaques
Hah! Cool little pods. I love 'em. I'll bet they're very popular with vacationers.
GWA111
Going at it with your partner on that bed may give you both a chance to sample the local hospitals too
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Zach my boy, I think you need to take a closer look there... EVERY SINGLE piece of wood in that design requires at minimum a simple miter cut, but in most cases a complex angle on *both ends*. Hmmm, let's just say I'd never work in your employ because I prefer to associate with the observant, logical and successful!