Ala Köl, the latest design from Baluchon—the French company that designs and builds custom tiny homes for people around the world—was inspired by wanderlust.
Nina and Guillaume, the couple who commissioned Ala Köl (pronounced "cool"), have a penchant for travel, so when they approached Baluchon about creating a tiny home–on–wheels, their biggest concern was size: The structure had to be large enough to accommodate everything they needed, but small enough to be towed legally.
With a length that measures 19.6 feet, Ala Köl is clad in cedar and black aluminum. The aluminum wraps one side of the tiny home and continues on the roof, creating a waterfall-like effect. Slim, vertical cedar boards lend texture for the three remaining elevations. The juxtaposition of the two materials—in combination with a saltbox-style roof form—provides a striking, sculptural aesthetic for the micro home.
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Nina and Guillaume named the tiny home after Ala Köl lake in Kyrgyzstan, a place the couple visited together. In the same way the black aluminum wraps the cedar on the exterior of the tiny home, the Terskey Alatau mountains wrap around the circumference of the turquoise blue lake.
Large windows on each elevation flood the interior of the tiny home with sunlight, giving a feeling of spaciousness and warmth. The shiplap walls and wood flooring, crafted with heat-treated solid Landes pine and stained solid spruce, are insulated with cotton, linen, and hemp. In the dining area, a wood table doubles as a desk and accommodates two people; when necessary, the surface extends and can serve as many as four people.
Two solid French walnut counters provide a good deal of space for food preparation in the kitchen, where mint-colored cabinetry adds brightness and plenty of storage. The room also features a large refrigerator, a sink, and a cooktop with an oven. Just beyond the kitchen is the laundry area with a washing machine and the bath, where there’s a full-size shower and more cabinet storage.
The bedroom, located above the bath and the laundry area, is accessed by a large staircase that incorporates storage within the treads. The compact mezzanine area has a cabin-like feeling that’s supplied by a spruce ceiling, insulated with wood fiber, and spruce flooring. A floor-to-ceiling window runs the length of the space, drenching it in sunlight and connecting it to the outdoors.
And in the living room—where a tall ceiling and large windows make the tiny home feel surprisingly expansive—a sizable wood map affixed to the wall marks all of the places the couple has traveled—as well as all of the places they’d still like to go.
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