Do you have $28,000, some salvaged material, and access to a plot of land?
You may want to give Invisible Studio a ring. The British architecture firm recently completed this cozy, 430-square-foot micro-home neat their rural practice in Bath, England–and while Invisible Studio architect Piers Taylor says they’re not planning to build any more of the design for clients, they would be more than happy to share the plans at no cost.
“We’re interested in it being a kind of open source system,” he tells me over email. The idea? That “anyone can appropriate and adapt with the materials they have.”
Taylor says that the design was an effort to use the low-grade timber from the forest around his studio–which is usually pulped. Other materials are also salvaged, including the doors, the rope that serves as handrails, and plenty of the joinery. The exterior facade is made of simple steel, along with corrugated fibreglass that lets in natural light.
The studio wanted to use it to make a low-cost small living space prototype for guests, interns, and visitors to his practice. It also needed to be a multi-purpose space–capable not just of offering a sleeping space, but also of acting as an extension to the studio proper. “The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, useable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self builder to improvise around or easily adapt,” the studio explains on its website. “While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.”
The other self-imposed requirement? That the space be moveable. Taylor says that a mobile structure, like the cabin, avoids the bureaucracy of permitting that comes with building a permanent space. Instead, the building sits on a steel frame that can be hauled–even on major roads–to easily relocate or remove it entirely, without leaving a trace.
The final result was so successful, Taylor wants to build more of them with their stock of the local, low-grade timber–their very own “vernacular material,” as he calls it. But again, they won’t be building them for third parties. So if you want one, you’ll have to ask for the plans–and source your own salvaged materials.