In the third UQ Architecture lecture we heard from Lara Noble and Andrew Carter of The Tiny House Company. They are passionate supporters of the tiny mobile house as a solution to the receding ‘Australian dream’ of home ownership.
Designing a small house of approximately 20sqm to comply with the vehicle towing regulations, the smaller footprint allows the tiny house to be cheaper and therefore affordable. The fact the tiny houses are mobile means land sites are not purchased.
The legal vehicle towing regulations seem to be the most restrictive design element to Lara and Andrew’s tiny house solution. The constraints define the height, width, length and weight of the small home. These restrictions are only enforced when the tiny house is being transported to a site and are not occupied.
A significant aspect of Lara and Andrew’s design process is to reduce or eliminate circulation, crossover, double-use spaces to create the ‘tiny’ footprint. This approach can be applied to time (4th dimension) when the tiny house is not in transport mode which is the majority of time. The footprint can be made flexible, allowing more design solutions.
Lara and Andrew could utilise a smaller footprint when in transport mode and then a fold-out larger footprint when in the stationary mode.
Similar to the bolt-on verandah, the basic footprint could have fold-out internal spaces.
The smaller footprint core could enclose the main service areas – kitchen, laundry & bathroom. The flexible fold-out areas could enclose a lounge room, dining room, bedrooms and verandahs.
This alternative could have several advantages such as cheaper construction with a smaller core zone, reduced towing weight and more flexibility. House owners could then customise their tiny house and expand their home over time when needs and budget allows.
Perhaps this would allow Lara and Andrew to provide more design solutions.
Is this a development worth investigating? Would these solutions be attractive to those wanting a permanent affordable home?