A bit of imagination and a crate of dynamite was all it took for Olsen Kundig Architects to turn this giant bolder into a luxurious, modern dream home. Raw materials such as exposed concrete were used to compliment the natural feel of the rocky backdrop which flanks the home on two sides. There are even areas where the remnants of the existing stone pokes though on the interior, creating a grotto like feel that offsets the stark finishes that accompany the new space.
The home was outfitted with rustic antique furniture and artwork, which matches the rugged design.
Leftover rock from the construction was crushed into a work of art and mounted on the wall.
The bathroom includes a sink basin carved into stone, with three separate bowls where the water cascades through before draining.
Growing up, most of us had a friend whose parents owned an impressive house, but I guarantee none of us had a friend with a place like this. Owned by Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this eco-fortress of sorts can be found floating off the coastal inlet of Cypress Bay in British Columbia.
They call it “Freedom Cove” and the colorful offgrid home consists of a series of 12 structures. They share the place with their two children, Eleanor and Alistair, and seem to have a great system in place that has allowed them to live a self-sustainable existence for 20+ years.
There’s a greenhouse and garden system that provides food year-round. At one point they even had a hen-house, but were discouraged by the frequent attacks by hungry sea creatures. The family takes advantage of the heavy rain during the winter to collect water, and uses a waterfall nearby in the summer. Electricity comes courtesy solar panels and photovoltaic generators.
A wooden walkway connects each of the unique structures and the bright pinks and blues accenting the entire layout do more than hint at the couple’s artistic skills.
The couple earns extra income from their art – Catherine is a painter, writer, and wood carver, and Wayne sells carvings and candles in nearby gift shops.
Below you can see the workshop where Wayne does most of his carving, along with some close-ups of the finished candles.
If you’re in the area and want to check this place out, your in luck because curious visitors can take a boat tours of Freedom Cove or a sea kayak tour to get a personal tour.. In fact, they encourage visitors to spend time on the fortress.
This certainly has to be one of the most impressive offgrid homes we’ve seen. While the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, those looking for inspiration to escape mainstream society and forge a life of their own can find inspiration in their story.
Spaces of prayer and worship have traditionally been designed create suspension of disbelief in order to give the users a grander sense of a higher being. This church, designed by Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, does just that by appearing to be completely see-through.
Layers of rusted steel ribs are stacked upon each other with spacers that create gaps between each piece. The result is a structure that is more translucent than it is opaque, allowing light, air and views to flow into one exterior wall and out the other.
The ephemeral church blends majestically into the surrounding Belgian hillside, especially when backlit by the rising or setting sun. It won’t protect you from rain, wind, floods or snow, but it will provide a serene setting to appreciate the things greater than yourself.
Dubbed the “Ecostream” this renovated Airstream is dripping with style, from the subtly colorful exterior LED lighting to the cork flooring and luxuriously appointed interior.
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The couple who own this beauty sold all their belongings and their home, purchasing the Airstream in 2009. After completing the extensive renovation they spent the next 18 months living in it. When the solar powered RV isn’t being towed by a vegetable oil-fueled pickup truck, you can find it comfortably parked in the owners driveway, outside their modest Alameda, CA home.
“We are driving towards sustainability one mile at a time. We owned a home. We sold a home. We rented a house that was 1500 s.f. Now we’re living in under 200 s.f. We are living on less and living more purposefully.”
While we love seeing all the upscale prefabs marketed as sustainable and low-cost solutions, they often seem overpriced, which flies in the face of the sustainable values that guide their vision. These are ten of the most affordable and versatile prefab homes that prove you don’t need a deep bank account to get a stylish home.
1The Escape Cabin
This gorgeous RV model can be towed anywhere you want, and comes fully outfitted with all the modern finishes you could dream of. With roughly 500 square feet of space, and plenty of options, it’s a great choice. Starting at $79,000.
2The Cocoyoc House
Two brothers in Mexico built this impressive open design on a piece of land they inherited. It includes a seriously nice kitchen and a media room for a meager $70/sf, making it one of the cheapest and most impressive in the list.
3Muji’s Prefab Solution
This architect set out to address a problem with Japanese housing, where the average lifespan of a home is just 38 years (as opposed to 100+ in the US). He sells larger homes for around $200k that are meant to provide plenty of space for a family, and designed to last.
4The Ideabox Mini RV
This company wants to re-imagine what modular homes mean, using high quality materials to build a long-lasting, functional little home that’s also environmentally friendly. Pricing for the non-wheel “Mini RV” model starts at $46,500.
This stylish little prefab is actually the largest of their models, at a whopping 512 square feet. It only costs $59,500 which makes it a great bargain.
We include Bluhomes in this list because price is sometimes relative, and in this case you get a super high end prefab that easily rivals a custom designed architect-builder home at a price that’s much friendlier. Though, at $400k+ it’s not exactly “affordable” in every sense of the word.
7The Caboose By Wheelhaus
One of several gorgeous designs by Wheelhaus, the Caboose packs a lot of luxury into a small park model RV package. The base package you see here costs $96,000.
8Lake Flato Porch House
Designed by Lake|Flato Architects, this relatively new prefab aims to deliver quality and style at a friendly price of around $150/square foot.
9Living Homes C6
A premier maker of sustainable prefabs, Living Homes just unveiled their recent C6 update, and it’s a beauty. They integrate the latest green technology and innovation in this home at a price of $145/square foot.
This offshoot of KRDM aims to provide affordable, stylish, and thoughtful designs via their sister company Ma Modular, where the aim is to bring affordability to the modern prefab market. Prices for this beauty start at $150 square foot.
His LV series home fits into the modern/contemporary prefab style and comes in at a low base price of $21,000.