Literally rising from the ashes, Phoenix House sits at the base of the world’s most active volcano and in view of the billowing steam as the lava flow meets the Pacific Ocean. A tiny home with a lofty design, ArtisTree’s newest creation is nothing short of legendary.
This 450-square foot, solar powered tiny house is part of a regenerative, off-grid, community compound. Situated at the base of Mauna Loa volcano on the 1990 Kalapana lava flow, it is a short 4-mile bike ride to the 100-foot waterfall of lava flowing into the ocean at 1 ton a minute. “Wow! Earth-shattering” was the review by a recent guest.
Phoenix House goes beyond sustainability--using rainwater, and regenerative power, as well as many recycled materials--creating space for new life to occur on our planet and in the souls of those who visit. “We built this house with deep respect for Mother Earth. “For that reason, you will find the design minimalist, the development footprint light, and the result is one with its surroundings,” stated Will Beilharz, the designer of Phoenix House. Covered in Shou Sugi Ban siding to blend with the stark landscape and recycled rusted corrugated metal to represent the hot lava, Phoenix House flows with its surroundings.
A modern beach farmhouse that reflects simplicity and elegance with a minimalistic but impactful feel--this vacation rental reminds us of the temporal nature of life and the appreciation of the moment. On a 2016 visit to the Big Island Beilharz was awestruck by the destructive power of nature and the ever-present drive for new life when he saw tiny ferns and coconut trees poking their way up through the crusted surface of past lava flows. Phoenix House, named after the mythical bird whose story is about rising from the ashes and the cycle of death and rebirth, is a place where people can stir their own next transitions or come to peace with the ones they are currently experiencing.
“The energy in Hawaii got me thinking about how we live as a culture,” said Beilharz. “For the most part, we live in stationary boxes and complain about the weather changing; yet, in reality, we are traveling through space at 1000s of miles per hour. We’re perched on these tiny pieces of rocks in a vast ocean of movement.” For centuries our ancestors lived in traveling tribes moving with the seasons. Phoenix House and the tiny home movement acts as a symbol of the transnational lives of our ancestors and the ArtisTree team’s commitment to future generations.
Beilharz believes we should be asking “what kind of ancestors do we want to be?” When designing structures, he does not just ask what’s the amortization schedule of this building, but how will everything he chooses from the materials to the energy it uses, affect future generations.
The ArtisTree team had many learning curves in this environment to perfectly capture the essence of what they desired. When one is out on the lava field with 30 mph winds, building is a lot trickier than other places. But with patience, perseverance, and Pele’s (the island goddess) blessing we brought together what we think is an honorable representation of the island and its history.
For over a decade, ArtisTree’s artistic designs have been featured internationally in media from the New York Times’ travel section to Architectural Digest and Tiny House Giant Journey, just to name a few. Beilharz’s designs have received awards from Hospitality Design, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and American Institute of Architecture (AIA). He and ArtisTree design and build spaces that create vitality both for the people using them and for the land the buildings occupy.
Phoenix House rents for $100 to $150 per night and can be reserved by going to Airbnb and searching in Kalapana, HI for Phoenix House. You can learn more about staying in other ArtisTree treehouses or contacting them to design or build your dreams at ArtisTreeHomes.com.
Re: Phoenix House
Contact: Caitlin Rowe (512) 618-5662
Date: May 30, 2017
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Milky Way over Phoenix House
Outside View of Phoenix House
Inside view of Phoenix House
Upstairs Loft of Phoenix House
Living Area of Phoenix House