Commissioned by a dance and yoga instructor from Glasgow, House on Wheels is a 270-square-foot, tiny home built for her summer yoga retreats held near the village of Kerames in Southern Crete. Sam Booth, founder of Scottish small home builders Echo Living, designed the diminutive dwelling to be transported and expanded on-site. The building is off-grid but on wheels, equipped with solar power and a compost toilet.
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"Because the building is site-specific, it had to conform to a restricted layout," says Booth. "It also had to be transported to site by road from Scotland. The concept was for a building which could opened up and be expanded on site, fanning out to create an open-plan space with a sleeping platform, all designed to fit between the trees and under the shade," says Booth.
The hideaway is nestled within a secluded olive grove that’s accessible via a very steep, narrow road, and looks out to with wonderful views over the Libyan Sea.
"We offered a sustainable solution for a small building, which would cause minimal environmental impact, and an alternative to the more traditional building methods using concrete foundations, which would inevitably harm the trees," says Booth.
House on Wheels consists of two separate buildings: a main living and sleeping area, and a shower room. The two buildings are connected by a timber walkway.
The separate, outdoor shower room keeps the built elements of the house small, allowing the entire layout to fit between the trees. This way, the house makes the best of the warm summer days, when the building is predominantly in use.
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Spruce timber panels on the interior walls, along with timber and tile flooring, creates a minimalist, restful living area. Concealed storage and clearly defined spaces for living, cooking, and sleeping help orient the owner in the open-plan home.
"Storage was created in deep drawers, which roll out from beneath the window seat under the skylight," says Booth. "Shelves, designed to house favorite objects, create ever-changing screens against the windows and between spaces, and a neat wardrobe sits to the rear of the sleeping space."
On a slate hearth in front of a tiled fireplace, a stove and flue separate the sitting area from a small sleeping space. Here, a discreet double bed is raised on a platform beside a small wardrobe, shelves, and a built-in bedside table with reading light.
The small fireplace creates a visual pause between the living and sleeping spaces, while the large skylight and plenty of glazed walls bring daylight into the space.
"Off grid and entirely independent from the land, House on Wheels is sensitive to the treasured site, touching the ground lightly," says Booth. "The lightness of the interior, and its connection to the outdoors, creates a living space much larger than its physical size. The generous glazed openings, two doors, and roof vents allow the flow of air to keep the interior cool sustainably, without the need for power-hungry, mechanical cooling systems."
Architect of Record, Builder, Cabinetry, and Interior Design: Echo Living