Tiny Houses

Gallery: Micro-houses, dumpster dwellings and the art of extreme downsizing

Gallery: Micro-houses, dumpste...
The Wheelie Shack is a micro-house measuring just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long
The Wheelie Shack is a micro-house measuring just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long
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Berlin-based Italian architect and engineer Leonardo Di Chiara designed and built the aVoid tiny house to explore tiny living
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Berlin-based Italian architect and engineer Leonardo Di Chiara designed and built the aVoid tiny house to explore tiny living
Di Chiara lives in aVoid full-time
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Di Chiara lives in aVoid full-time
aVoid is named due to its interior being an empty space – or void – when the furniture is stowed away
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aVoid is named due to its interior being an empty space – or void – when the furniture is stowed away
Despite its size, aVoid has room for a dining table
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Despite its size, aVoid has room for a dining table
aVoid is based on a double-axle trailer and comprises a wooden frame
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aVoid is based on a double-axle trailer and comprises a wooden frame
aVoid features a rooftop terrace
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aVoid features a rooftop terrace
aVoid's dining table
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aVoid's dining table
aVoid is a work in progress and Di Chiara plans to install upgrades like solar panels and a greywater system in the future
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aVoid is a work in progress and Di Chiara plans to install upgrades like solar panels and a greywater system in the future
aVoid's furniture is hidden in its walls
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aVoid's furniture is hidden in its walls
Not many starchitects would deign to design a tiny house but that's the case with Renzo Piano's Diogene
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Not many starchitects would deign to design a tiny house but that's the case with Renzo Piano's Diogene
Diogene only measures 7.5 sq m (81 sq ft)
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Diogene only measures 7.5 sq m (81 sq ft)
Diogene is named in honor of the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who was said to have abandoned all worldly luxuries and conventions for the simplicity of living in a large ceramic jar
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Diogene is named in honor of the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who was said to have abandoned all worldly luxuries and conventions for the simplicity of living in a large ceramic jar
Diogene runs off-the-grid and gets power from a roof-based solar array
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Diogene runs off-the-grid and gets power from a roof-based solar array
The Dumpster Project involved Dr. Jeff Wilson of Huston-Tillotson University cleaning and painting a standard American dumpster and making it his home
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The Dumpster Project involved Dr. Jeff Wilson of Huston-Tillotson University cleaning and painting a standard American dumpster and making it his home
The Dumpster Project includes rainwater collection, solar power, a bed, and even air-conditioning
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The Dumpster Project includes rainwater collection, solar power, a bed, and even air-conditioning
The Dumpster Project has enough room inside for Wilson to lie down flat
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The Dumpster Project has enough room inside for Wilson to lie down flat
The Dumpster Project measures just 33 sq ft (3 sq m)
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The Dumpster Project measures just 33 sq ft (3 sq m)
The Dumpster Project was conceived to explore sustainable living ideas
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The Dumpster Project was conceived to explore sustainable living ideas
The Dumpster Project definitely isn't for everyone but Wilson seems happy enough living in it
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The Dumpster Project definitely isn't for everyone but Wilson seems happy enough living in it
The Dumpster Project has been heavily modified in a bid to make life a little more comfortable
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The Dumpster Project has been heavily modified in a bid to make life a little more comfortable
llustrator Peter Berkowitz found that house rental costs in San Francisco were too expensive for his budget so he built a small wooden pod for US$1,300 called the Living Pod
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llustrator Peter Berkowitz found that house rental costs in San Francisco were too expensive for his budget so he built a small wooden pod for US$1,300 called the Living Pod
The Living Pod is installed in the living room of a pal's house and Berkowitz pays $400 per month in rent to keep it there
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The Living Pod is installed in the living room of a pal's house and Berkowitz pays $400 per month in rent to keep it there
Inside the Living Pod
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Inside the Living Pod
After a nasty accident almost cost him his life, Richard Ward of Terraform Tiny Houses decided to embrace a nomadic lifestyle with his Terraform Three home
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After a nasty accident almost cost him his life, Richard Ward of Terraform Tiny Houses decided to embrace a nomadic lifestyle with his Terraform Three home
Terraform Three's kitchen and shower area are accessed from outside
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Terraform Three's kitchen and shower area are accessed from outside
Terraform Three is based on an old boat trailer
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Terraform Three is based on an old boat trailer
Terraform Three only has 54 sq ft (5 sq m) of floorspace
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Terraform Three only has 54 sq ft (5 sq m) of floorspace
Terraform Three's shower and kitchen area
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Terraform Three's shower and kitchen area
Terraform Three's toilet is a composting model made by Ward himself 
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Terraform Three's toilet is a composting model made by Ward himself 
Terraform Three has some storage space inside
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Terraform Three has some storage space inside
The Wheelie Shack was constructed in summer (northern hemisphere) 2017, but after a winter spent living in it, the owners decided it's too large for their needs
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The Wheelie Shack was constructed in summer (northern hemisphere) 2017, but after a winter spent living in it, the owners decided it's too large for their needs
The Wheelie Shack measures just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long and 7.5 ft (2.2 m)-wide
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The Wheelie Shack measures just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long and 7.5 ft (2.2 m)-wide
The Wheelie Shack has a loft bedroom 
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The Wheelie Shack has a loft bedroom 
The Wheelie Shack's dining table turns into an additional bed
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The Wheelie Shack's dining table turns into an additional bed
The Wheelie Shack is very snug and doesn't include a shower or even running water
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The Wheelie Shack is very snug and doesn't include a shower or even running water
The Wheelie Shack is wired to get its electricity from a standard hookup or solar power setup
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The Wheelie Shack is wired to get its electricity from a standard hookup or solar power setup
Inside the Diogene, designed by starchitect Renzo Piano
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Inside the Diogene, designed by starchitect Renzo Piano
The Ecocapsule measures 4.67 x 2.2 m (15 x 7.2 ft) and has a maximum height of 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
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The Ecocapsule measures 4.67 x 2.2 m (15 x 7.2 ft) and has a maximum height of 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
The Ecocapsule's interior floorspace is 8.2 sq m (88 sq ft)
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The Ecocapsule's interior floorspace is 8.2 sq m (88 sq ft)
Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door
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Access to the Ecocapsule is gained by sliding door
The Ecocapsule gets power either from a standard grid hookup or can run off-the-grid with a 880 W solar panel array and a 750 W wind turbine mounted on a telescopic pole
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The Ecocapsule gets power either from a standard grid hookup or can run off-the-grid with a 880 W solar panel array and a 750 W wind turbine mounted on a telescopic pole
Ecocapsule includes a small kitchenette
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Ecocapsule includes a small kitchenette
The Ecocapsule is available as pre-orders for €79,900 (US$97,800)
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The Ecocapsule is available as pre-orders for €79,900 (US$97,800)
Ecocapsule can be delivered by helicopter to remote locations
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Ecocapsule can be delivered by helicopter to remote locations
The OPod Tube House is a micro house made from concrete water piping that measures just 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in diameter
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The OPod Tube House is a micro house made from concrete water piping that measures just 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in diameter
The OPod Tube House features an apartment-style layout suitable for one or two people
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The OPod Tube House features an apartment-style layout suitable for one or two people
Multiple units of the OPod Tube House could be stacked atop each other 
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Multiple units of the OPod Tube House could be stacked atop each other 
The OPod Tube House has a total floorspace of just 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m)
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The OPod Tube House has a total floorspace of just 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m)
The Dumpster Project was installed in the Huston-Tillotson University campus in Austin, Texas
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The Dumpster Project was installed in the Huston-Tillotson University campus in Austin, Texas
The Wheelie Shack is a micro-house measuring just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long
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The Wheelie Shack is a micro-house measuring just 12 ft (3.6 m)-long
The Salsa Box was designed by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise
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The Salsa Box was designed by Portland, Oregon-based Shelter Wise
The Salsa Box measures just 3.5 x 2.4 m (12 x 8 ft) 
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The Salsa Box measures just 3.5 x 2.4 m (12 x 8 ft) 
The Salsa Box has a total floorspace of 9 sq m (96 sq ft)
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The Salsa Box has a total floorspace of 9 sq m (96 sq ft)
The Salsa Box comes equipped with a queen-sized bed, a flushing toilet, a combined shower and mini-tub, and a kitchenette
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The Salsa Box comes equipped with a queen-sized bed, a flushing toilet, a combined shower and mini-tub, and a kitchenette
Diogene by Renzo Piano
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Diogene by Renzo Piano

A lot of the tiny houses we've covered lately have been getting bigger and bigger, with some approaching the dimensions of small apartments. The homes we're highlighting today buck this trend and are so small that only the most enthusiastic proponents of small living would ever choose to live in them.

The Terraform Three, by Richard Ward, is a micro-house measuring 6 x 10 ft (1.8 x 3 m). It runs off-the-grid with a solar power array and features a composting toilet, bed, and some storage space inside. A small rooftop deck area can be reached through the skylight, while the kitchen and shower are accessed from outside.

Terraform Three has some storage space inside
Terraform Three has some storage space inside

The aVoid home, by Leonardo Di Chiara, has a total floorspace of only 9 sq m (96 sq ft) but is surprisingly fully-featured thanks to all its furniture being hidden in the walls. This includes a Murphy-style single bed, kitchenette, desk, table, seating, and storage space.

aVoid's furniture is hidden in its walls
aVoid's furniture is hidden in its walls

The Dumpster Project, by Dr. Jeff Wilson, involved cleaning a 33 sq ft (3 sq m) dumpster – very thoroughly, we hope – and modifying it to serve as a shelter by adding insulation, a bed, toilet, solar panels, and even an air-conditioning unit.

The Dumpster Project definitely isn't for everyone but Wilson seems happy enough living in it
The Dumpster Project definitely isn't for everyone but Wilson seems happy enough living in it

Visit the gallery to see more of these micro-houses, and others, including a tiny house designed by a starchitect, a man who lives in a box in his friend's living room to avoid high rent, and an egg-shaped micro-house that can be delivered by helicopter.

5 comments
guzmanchinky
I have a Sportsmobile 4x4 pop top campervan. It has everything I could ever need, and i can park it on any remote mountaintop and spend as long as I like.
Expanded Viewpoint
So what's up with "New Atlas" going so agog and goo goo eyed over all of these tiny houses, some of which look more like an outhouse than a real house?? Is this supposed to be some kind of a social engineering gimmick or reaction test or what? Is all of this coverage of these minuscule abodes an experiment in conditioning us, to see how well and fast we will accept living in tiny amounts of space where they rack 'em, pack 'em and stack 'em?? To what ending? We've already seen a ton of coverage of these electric powered (in actuality, they are mostly coal powered!) cars, trucks, motorcycles and even airplanes that are promoted as being "green" when they are anything but that!! How much of an impact on the environment is made by all of the processes needed to make the batteries, and then recycle them when they wear out and need to be replaced? It's like us getting "free" health care that no one ever has to pay for, except through an increase in already confiscatory high levels of taxation and bureaucracies!! Randy
Joshua Tulberg
@Expanded Viewpoint : You managed to turn an article about Tiny Homes into a rant about electric vehicles (filled with typical EV mis-information) and then moved it to arguing against universal healthcare. I'm a little surprised you didn't bring up a political remark or two.
S Michael
Right on the mark Randy..
bhtooefr
@Joshua Tulberg: Expanded Viewpoint basically already did - they're accusing New Atlas of being part of a UN conspiracy to enslave the populace and trap them in studio apartments in cities. (Look up Agenda 21 conspiracy hypotheses (they're not theories, to be theories, the hypotheses actually have to be tested) for a laugh. The giveaway that it was one of *those* was the "rack 'em, pack 'em, and stack 'em" language that Agenda 21 conspiracy hypothesists use against urbanism.)