Tiny house designer and Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon, Erin Moore has realized the construction of two dwellings amid a 300 year old solidified lava landscape in Hawaii. Dubbed Outside House, the pair of cabins were conceived as a place to connect with the land, without impacting upon it.
Outside House consists of two structures: "Mauka" the Hawaiian word for "inland toward the mountains" and "Makai" meaning "seaward." In keeping with the client's wish to preserve the land, the pair of cabins are designed for modest living and can both be dismantled without leaving a footprint and re-installed on a different location if desired.
"The center of the Outside House is the uneven, ever-changing ground between the pavilions," says Erin Moore. "The unbuilt areas of the Outside House – lichen on the lava, a curved rock wall, a growing endemic mamane tree – are the essence of daily living in this place and what the client values most."
Mauka is a fully enclosed cabin, designed as a comfortable place to sleep, relax and read a book during the day, while also enjoying the views out across the lush Hawaiian landscape. Accessible via a rear staircase, the humble cabin features a cozy double bed, seating and desk area, large glass sliding doors and stunning wooden finishing throughout.
The Mauka tiny house was built using a light wood-frame construction which is elevated above the lava ground by four concrete pillars. The north and south sides of the cabin are clad with a reflective film, while the east and west sides are clad with western red cedar. The home is also fitted with screened vents for optimum air flow and the roof features polycarbonate sheathing, protecting it from the island rains.
Several feet away from the Mauka tiny house is the Makai outdoor shelter. Designed as a place to enjoy the outdoors, Makai features a large sheltered open terrace with a basic outdoor kitchen and hidden open shower. The outdoor shelter is built with a galvanized steel frame and was fully prefabricated off-site. Makai was carried onto the site by foot, before being assembled and anchored securely to the ground via four threaded rods.
Both the Mauka and Makai cabins were conceptualized as an easy to install "home kit" with each section being light enough to be carried to site by two people. The structures were assembled together in limited time and without the need for heavy equipment. Both dwellings can be fitted with solar panels, rain water tanks and composting toilets, creating a self-sustaining off-the-grid home.
Outside House is this year's first place winner of the University of Hawaii's Building Voices Design Competition.
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