Naval architect Kurt Hughes typically creates designs for the water, but when the Seattle–based designer saw a picture of a lunar lander, he couldn’t resist the challenge of figuring out the structure’s unusual form.
His curiosity culminated in the creation of an Apollo 13-inspired tiny house, which now serves as his weekend getaway on a remote plot next to the Columbia River.
Dubbed the Lunar Lander, the 250-square-foot abode’s eye-catching appearance belies its minimal environment footprint, thanks to its highly insulated elevated form.
"The Lunar Lander is not only an interesting configuration, but an homage to a time when people did new things," explains Hughes of his inspiration behind the design/build project.
"Innovators were prized, not feared. And more, the actual Apollo astronauts trained some 25 miles from where this project is sited."
Bringing his boatbuilding background together with his experience in prefabricated homebuilding, Hughes has crafted the "retro-futurist" Lunar Lander using the latest marine composite technology.
"Construction is plywood / epoxy / core / fiberglass. There is no framing, no headers, no joists," notes Hughes, adding that if he had a larger budget he would have made the entire structure out of fiberglass and foam core.
The building components are made of structural insulated panel (SIP) construction, and are comprised of BS 6566 plywood and Foamular structural foam core. The parts are bonded together with biaxial roving, a fiberglass with the same strength as A36 steel.
The most challenging part of the project was permitting. "They didn’t know what to make of it," says Hughes, who said he was surprised when he found out that his tiny house needed to follow the same R3 code that a 24,000-square-foot, four-story condominium is subjected to.
Code compliance forced him to change his design, though the spacecraft spirit has been retained. "It has a low environmental impact and high weirdness factor," adds Hughes. "It’s also light on the land."
To learn more about the Lunar Lander, click here.
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