House on Wheels, Crete
Bespoke Eco Retreat
The most southerly member of our small building collection is the House on Wheels. Designed and built in our workshop in Scotland, it was commissioned by a yoga teacher from Glasgow who had been unable to find a building solution which would protect the integrity of the tiny site and preserve its trees. It was shipped to a remote site on the island of Crete, and the little, off-grid hideaway now sits amongst the olive trees and opens up to reveal a beautiful spruce lined living space, with stunning sea views.
The building was designed to fit its site with minimal environmental impact and to satisfy a local planning requirement that stipulated that the building should be on wheels. Measurements were taken to plot the position of the ancient trees, and the little cabin was designed to sit between them, and also to fit the dimensions of a single lorry for the trip to Crete. Transferred onto a Hiab for the final leg of the journey down dusty, single-track roads, it was finally craned into place between three ancient olive trees. Members of our team installed the building, overseeing its delivery and installation, and putting the finishing touches to the interior and exterior. Nestling in the olive grove under its dappled shade, the little white cabin echoes the buildings in the village on the hills above.
The eco cabin retreat has a minimal aesthetic and is off grid; it is powered by solar panels and is heated on cool evenings, and during the increasingly snowy, winter months, by a small wood burning stove. The kitchen unit houses a 12v fridge and lighting is 12v LED. A water pipe comes to the cabin from the nearby village supply. Clad in white composite cladding with an etched surface pattern, the little house on wheels comprises two separate buildings: the main living accommodation is linked to the shower room and composting toilet by a timber walkway.
The interior is lined in spruce timber panels and has a natural finish, and the floor is finished in timber and tiles. The main entrance door leads into the rear of the building and it opens out to the front, its double sliding doors opening onto the timber decking for indoor-outdoor living and cooling breezes. Open shelving and the hand built, compact kitchen are suspended in front of the large windows; a timber wall to the side of the kitchen pivots open to extend the space onto adjacent decking for outddoor dining.
The living area has built in seating area with a skylight above and large storage drawers beneath. The stove and flue sit on a slate hearth in front of a tiled fireplace which separates the small bed space from the sitting area. The tiles are the client's own and were reclaimed from a Glasgow tenement. The discreet double bed space is on a raised platform and has its own little wardrobe,shelves and a built-in bedside table with reading light and view to the sea. Above the window wall, a floating roof detail, with flaps running the length of the building, provides extra ventilation; the flaps are held open by small weights made from local stone.
Off Grid, Solar Powered, Tiny House
Like a receptacle for golden sunlight, this lovely little modern off grid house seems at home amongst the wizened trees and strong sea breezes. Its the kind TreeHugger-friendly design that reconnects you back to nature, without being pretentious or overdone...
Kimberley Mok, Treehugger
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