Welcome to Tiny Homes, an idea that is more popular with minimalists than with neighborhood associations and zoning boards. We'll point out the fun parts. You'll have to check out the logistics and legalities - but this one has so much style, who could say no? Don't answer that. Not For Sale, but go ahead and dream.
After living in a van and spreading the word about living small and mobile, Foster Huntington challenged himself to consider what he really needed and wanted that would be more permanent. The result: a pair of 200 square foot treehouses in Skamania, just barely in Washington, down by the Columbia. In six months, with a lot of friends, including an innovative architect, he built a place that is undeniably his. Up five Douglas Firs, with staircases and rope bridges, the treehouses let him live above ground, with better views and without having to worry about basements and foundations. He's enough of a minimalist that the reason for two is so he can rent out one. He's knows his luxuries, though. That's why, down on the ground, there's a skateboard park and a hot tub. He knows what he likes.
Even though one answer to Seattle's housing crisis is to build up, it may be that the only way something like this can happen is to be far removed from regulation, convention, and bureaucracy that innovation can happen without interference.
The design from Perspective Design/Build makes sense for the place. Each roof is metal, probably as much to shed needles as well as water. The siding is wood shakes, which is appropriate for fitting in and for providing practical, lightweight protection. Not the place for brick. The houses are connected by a mix of fixed stairs and rope bridges. Trying to keep everything connected as the trees flex and grow must be a challenge. The structure has to be compliant, not rigid - which sounds like a necessary attitude Foster's practiced well and described in his books.
Living like an Ewok can be romantic, but there are a few practicalities to consider. Okay, skip the long list and just think about plumbing; which he undoubtedly has a solution for because the place was finished months ago. And yet, even connectivity isn't an issue. He's got a good signal, can work remotely, so doesn't have to worry about a commute. He can live where he wants, how he wants, and in what he wants. Okay, maybe that is romantic, and - at least for some people - realistic, after they challenge themselves to identify their needs, wants, and dreams.
· Foster Huntington [ART]
· The Cinder Cone [TCC]
· Perspective Design/Build [PDB]
· All Tiny Homes coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath