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sierraclub.org - sierra magazine - may/june 2012 - nano-houses - downsize me: giga-living in nano houses Text by M.P. Klier Adrià Goula For those who cringe when HGTV house hunters gripe that a McMansion's racquetball-court-size closet is too small to fit all their shoes and its two-and-a-half-car garage is cramped, the 42 dwellings detailed in Phyllis Richardson's Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings (Thames and Hudson, 2011) offer another way home.
Sage Radachowsky's 120-square foot house. (Photo: gypsyliving.org) When Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband moved from Kansas City to a 480-square-foot lake house in Northwest, Ark., they'd planned to build a larger house on the same property and use the existing house as an office and guesthouse. Yet the recession convinced the couple to stick with the house they had and build another small space as an office and guesthouse. Fivecoat-Campbell says they're happy with a smaller footprint. "We live in an area where recreation is a big thing," she adds.
With only forty square meters of space and a single side that can access the outdoors, this little garage is an unlikely candidate for a home retrofit. Amazingly, a plan was made and successfully executed to convert the homeliest of tiny structures into an enviable abode. The before and after photographs of the renovation by Fabre/DeMarien are nothing short of astonishing – a nondescript, white-painted, corrugated-metal garage door that formerly folded upward was replaced with a warm pair of wood panels that slide past one another. Inside, a small forecourt opens up in two directions to access the interior – or serve as a secluded wooden-planked deck space when the front section is closed off to the street. ?
Raise the roof When Mark Egerstrom and Brian Grosdidier bought their 600-square-foot cottage on a tiny lot in West Hollywood, Calif., years of neglect had stripped away all of its original 1920s charm. "There were aluminum windows, torn-off siding … there was literally a crack pipe in the closet," says Egerstrom, an interior architect.
Designer Luigi Colani has created a space-saving house with a six square meter cylinder inside that contains a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. + hanse-haus.de The cylinder rotates left or right bringing the room you want into view of the main living room.
Want your own container house? There's a six-month waiting list for the Quik House by architect Adam Kalkin, who is based in New Jersey. The distinctive Quik House comes in a prefabricated kit, based on recycled shipping containers (in fact a completed house is about 75% recycled materials by weight). The standard Quik House offers 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms and two and one-half baths, though larger options are also available.
If the idea of spending days on the road in a tent or trailer doesn’t sound appealing, consider Stéphanie Bellanger ‘s Mobile Mini House. The spacious yet compact concept home is inspired by John Lautner’s Chemosphere house and has an ingenious expanding floor plan that features a bathroom, living room, bedroom, kitchen, and office.