Architecture

Shed-like Tinhouse is a triumph of utilitarian design

Shed-like Tinhouse is a triump...
Tinhouse measures 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
Tinhouse measures 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
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Rural Design's Tinhouse is meant to echo the many modest agricultural buildings that dot the Isle of Skye in western Scotland
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Rural Design's Tinhouse is meant to echo the many modest agricultural buildings that dot the Isle of Skye in western Scotland
The project was completed earlier this year
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The project was completed earlier this year
The interior is modest but very appealing
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The interior is modest but very appealing
Tinhouse measures 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
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Tinhouse measures 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
The home was designed to be built by a single person, mostly
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The home was designed to be built by a single person, mostly
The bathroom
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The bathroom
The  living space
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The  living space
Skylights help ensure plenty of natural light permeates within
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Skylights help ensure plenty of natural light permeates within
View toward the single bedroom
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View toward the single bedroom
The interior is arranged as a simple cabin wth one bedroom, lounge area, kitchen, and bathroom
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The interior is arranged as a simple cabin wth one bedroom, lounge area, kitchen, and bathroom
The relatively low-cost home cost £110,000 (US$145k) to build
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The relatively low-cost home cost £110,000 (US$145k) to build
View gallery - 11 images

If you tell someone their house looks like a shed, it isn't usually taken as a compliment, but Rural Design's Tinhouse was designed that way. Located in a rural plot in Scotland's Isle of Skye, the appealing home echoes the modest agricultural buildings that dot the area.

Tinhouse was designed so that it could mostly be assembled by a single person. The few times that help was needed, when installing the steel beams for example, a social event was made of the process, like an old-fashioned barn raising.

The home looks very utilitarian from the outside, with its corrugated aluminum cladding softened only a little by wooden sliding doors and deck. The interior measures 70 sq m (753 sq ft) and is warmer and more inviting, arranged as a simple cabin wth a single bedroom, lounge area, kitchen, and bathroom. There's plenty of natural light inside thanks to multiple windows and skylights, and heat comes from a wood-burner.

Skylights help ensure plenty of natural light permeates within
Skylights help ensure plenty of natural light permeates within

Recycled timber was used to create pocket doors, simple wooden dowels serve as coat pegs, and leftover cement was used in the shower. Some of the furniture, including the bed and seating, was made using leftover timber, and Douglas Fir offcuts were used to make the bedside tables.

Tinhouse is relatively cheap for an architect-designed house of its type in the UK, and cost £110,000 (US$145,000) in total. The home is competing against houses worth several times more in British architecture's most prestigious housing award. It's available for rent as a vacation cottage from Rural Design.

Source: Rural Design

View gallery - 11 images
6 comments
Matt Fletcher
I like the design but fail to see how a 753 sq ft house being sold at $145,000 is relatively cheap? At almost $200 a sq ft. that's at luxury home construction costs, the relatively cheap side is under $100.
Brooke
A metal roof turns into a drum in the rain. Only people who are very sound sleepers should consider it.
mediabeing
Right nice. Bolt four of 'em together, and that might be worth considering!
telocity
That is the kind of house you build if your designing and doing it yourself as a home owner in order to keep the cost down. It even has recycled wood and items, so how much is the architect pocketing to get it that high a cost? A lot it would seem. Why is there no solar on the roof? What's with the silly old stove, a place like that should use a thermal mass heater that could also be the bench/sofa. Doesn't seem to have much original thought put into it, other than it looks like a shed from outside.
Noel K Frothingham
Matt, this was built in Scotland, not the US. Think about how real estate prices in New York City. The price of a relatively small apartment/condominium can easily start in the 7 figure range. Since land is no longer being manufactured in either New York City or Scotland...well, you get the idea.
Don Duncan
What is the mark up (profit) for this expensive box? The ease of construction might make it feasible but we can't know without the cost to heat/cool. I don't like the glazing design. How do you shade? And all the glass on the door is a security problem. I need details, e.g., roof/wall insulation value? Is it built in? Can I special order the insulation to match my site? Will the roof support PV? Can it collect rain? What is the size of the rooms? What appliances come with it? Way too little info to judge the credibility of this design.