Tiny Houses

Ultra-small dwelling puts a cork in tiny living

Ultra-small dwelling puts a co...
The Ecocubo is geared toward tourism, so you can expect to see it in glamping parks, but is also available for private purchase
The Ecocubo is geared toward tourism, so you can expect to see it in glamping parks, but is also available for private purchase
View 13 Images
The Ecocubo measures just 9 sq m (96 sq ft)
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The Ecocubo measures just 9 sq m (96 sq ft)
The Ecocubo has been in development since 2015 but a new and improved model was recently created
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The Ecocubo has been in development since 2015 but a new and improved model was recently created
The Ecocubo takes around two weeks to build
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The Ecocubo takes around two weeks to build
The Ecocubo's deck area adds some much-needed usable outdoor space
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The Ecocubo's deck area adds some much-needed usable outdoor space
The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet, kitchenette and a couple of small seats that double up as storage space
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The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet, kitchenette and a couple of small seats that double up as storage space
Inside, the Ecocubo is very simple and small 
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Inside, the Ecocubo is very simple and small 
We asked Ecocubo designer António Fernandes about the use of cork for the home and he explained that, with Portugal being such a large producer of the material, it made good sense to use it to create the tiny dwelling
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We asked Ecocubo designer António Fernandes about the use of cork for the home and he explained that, with Portugal being such a large producer of the material, it made good sense to use it to create the tiny dwelling
The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet and kitchenette
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The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet and kitchenette
The Ecocubo's operable windows
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The Ecocubo's operable windows
The Ecocubo can be hooked-up to the grid or outfitted with solar and wind power
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The Ecocubo can be hooked-up to the grid or outfitted with solar and wind power
The Ecocubo is geared toward tourism, so you can expect to see it in glamping parks, but is also available for private purchase
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The Ecocubo is geared toward tourism, so you can expect to see it in glamping parks, but is also available for private purchase
The Ecocubo's facade has a neat Tetris-like pattern
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The Ecocubo's facade has a neat Tetris-like pattern
The Ecocubo takes around two weeks to build
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The Ecocubo takes around two weeks to build
View gallery - 13 images

Portuguese startup Ecocubo has developed an eponymous cork tiny house that's intended to enable up to two people at a time to connect with nature. You probably wouldn't want to live in it permanently as it lacks in space and amenities, but the tiny dwelling looks well-suited for spending a weekend in the woods.

The Ecocubo is raised slightly on stilts and sports a neat Tetris-like patterned facade that can be customized with each model. It measures just 9 sq m (96 sq ft), laid-out on one floor, though there is a deck area too, which offers access and adds a little usable outdoor space. In addition to cork, wood was also used for its structure and interior finish.

Inside, the micro-house features a couch that pulls out into a two-person bed and a basic kitchenette along one wall. There's also a composting toilet, shower, cupboards and drawers, and a couple of small stools with integrated storage.

A cork tiny house seems a novel use of the impermeable, buoyant, elastic, and fire retardant material, so asked Ecocubo designer António Fernandes about the thinking behind it. He explained that, with Portugal being such a large producer of cork, it made good sense to use it. Fernandes also lauded cork's aesthetic qualities, relatively good insulation, and the fact that it's sustainably produced.

The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet and kitchenette
The Ecocubo includes a sofa bed, composting toilet and kitchenette

Power can either come from the grid or from solar or wind power. Fernandes told us that because of the cork's insulating qualities, air-conditioning is not required for keeping cool, nor should heating be needed either, but a small heater is installed as a precaution against very cold weather.

The first Ecocubo prototype was completed in late 2015 but has been since upgraded, and the most recent model is pictured. It can be built within two weeks and is currently geared toward tourism, so you can expect to see it in glamping parks, serving like the Tree Snake Houses in Portugal. The firm is working to roll it out internationally, too.

However, there are also plans to sell Ecocubo for private use and it appears to be well-suited for guest quarters, weekend cabin, or similar. It currently has a price tag of just €11,000 - €16,500 (US$11,700 - $17,550), plus taxes and transportation costs.

Source: Ecocubo

View gallery - 13 images
2 comments
2 comments
ChairmanLMAO
I see strong demand for tiny outhouse
BobLoblaw
The interior appears to be mostly that "flakeboard" made of wood shavings basically glued together with toxic formaldehyde containing glues that gas-off. This is the type of application it should never be used for (unless you enjoy cancer and other health problems). If it had good ventilation it might be ok as a workshop, but not for dwelling ever. On top of that, I could sell you a similar house made of cardboard and a can of paint for half this price.* *Some assembly required.