Yesterday evening we sent our Tiny House Design-Build students off for a much-needed 26 hour break. Since they arrived a week ago on Sunday evening, we’ve had a packed schedule with lots of hands-on learning. Today they’re going for runs, swimming in the local swimming holes, watching a movie, napping, and otherwise enjoying a lazy Sunday in Vermont.
On Wednesday I celebrated another revolution around the sun by exploring tiny houses with my students and fellow instructors and eating lots of desserts (maple creemees, anyone?) We had the chance to go on six field trips to see a 12 x 20 owner-built tiny house, a small live-work space designed and constructed by Yestermorrow’s Semester Program, a wee 2-bedroom featured on Tiny House Nation, a treehouse overlooking a pond, a sculptural house with a barrel vaulted sleeping space, and little efficient guesthouse by the brook. That’s right up there on my top favorite ways to spend my birthday! (Though my Big Birthday Bash at the Tiny House Hotel was pretty good, too!)
In the studio, we’ve done presentations on a variety of topics ranging from considerations for site, climate, and finding parking to options for systems, foundations, and interior design. Our students brought a variety of design ideas including several tiny houses on wheels (THOWs), a portable sauna, a tree house, a one-bedroom flat retrofit, a tiny house truck, and a backyard library with sleeping nook. During our time in the studio they’ve been finalizing their programming, exploring layout through bubble diagramming, practicing their drafting skills, and building models. They have so many clever ideas I can’t wait to see what they come up with during our studio time in the next week!
In the field we’ve been constructing an 11×16 tiny house on skids so we’ve had lots of practice with measuring, cutting, nailing, leveling, remeasuring, plumbing, shimming, bracing, etc. The house has a shed roof, a sleeping platform, and two storage lofts in addition to the kitchen and hang out space. We’ll continue constructing the shell next week and we’ll take it as far as we can in the time we have. The tiny house will be available for sale, so if you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Yestermorrow!