We humans are productive critters. Indeed the most productive trait of our species seems to be reproduction. There are now more than seven billion of us habiting this beautiful, but increasingly small looking, third rock from the sun. There are now so many of us that an emerging trend is for smaller accommodation, to which those born in the last three decades are particularly susceptible. Millennials will look at each other and around themselves and say, well, I guess it’s not a mansion, but…
No buts! I’m going to share an interesting story with you. This story is an amazingly designed mini-habitat where almost every small detail was produced on a 3D printer! The designers have printed not only the support structure of the ‘house’, but also electricity systems, heating systems, water systems, sewage systems and even the thermal insulation! Small Transportable Living is a 50 foot square variation of a mobile mini-house. Yes, maybe you think you need that much space for your wardrobe alone; yes, it looks like a giant bullet given the H. G. Giger overhaul from the outside; but it is also very, very clever.
In addition to the minimum necessary utility that is a required space in any abode: bedroom, kitchen, bathroom – you don’t want to sleep where you cook and you don’t want to cook where you pee – Small Transportable Living offers an integrated multimedia system: the impressive projection screen takes up most of the wall. The screen is visible best from the bed on the mezzanine floor, where the projector is hidden.
3D printing has been especially useful here given the all-in-one nature of the structure. The walls are the same component as the floors, the furniture, and much else. In order to save space, a movable kitchen counter-top with sink covers a bathtub. A small kitchen table can be extended out of this surface. The table is comfortable enough for two people, and there is even a small fridge.
The bathroom is equipped with a toilet that can be hidden inside the wall. The bathroom features not just a sink, not just a shower, but also a bathtub. Not bad for an all-in-one 3D printed micro-house. The designers have maximised efficiency by using a bit of cunning with the spaces under the floor itself: In addition to technical areas there are compartments for storing folding chairs. The main source of light and air is a carefully planned Oculus window over the bed, in the bedroom, which can be reached by a ladder.
The Small Transportable Living house draws inspiration from micro housing precedents including Renzo Piano’s Diogene and the M-ch, a joint venture between Richard Horden and the Munich Technical Institute. Students from the University of California in Los Angeles, the University of the British town of Huddersfield, Munich Technical University and the Center for Entrepreneurship and University of Applied Sciences have come together under the leadership of Peter Ebner to develop the project and have already built the pilot smaller version, as illustrated.