Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

A Tiny House that Doesn’t Look Like it Belongs in 1890s Kansas

Call us a bit jaded, but after a while many tiny houses start to look alike: tiny gable-roofed structures with eaves and a porch, lots of rustic wood, a loft bed, composting toilet. This is all fine, good and functional, but it can also feel somewhat generic and leave those whose tastes lean modern a little wanting. We ran across this tiny house on Treehugger by a Dutch outfit that calls themselves Woonpioniers. Yes, their “Porta Palace”, as they call it, is still made of wood and has a gabled roof (albeit an asymmetrical one), loft bed and composting toilet, but its sleek and clean design give it an overall effect that is very removed from Laura Ingalls and her houses on prairies.

woonpioniers-living

The first distinguishing trait are windows: two huge ones on either side, one of which contains a big door, making the transition from in and outdoors somewhat fuzzy. While giving it a dramatic look and tons of light, it would also pose some serious privacy issues if the Porta Palace were placed in a group setting.

There’s not much to the space that can’t be seen: there’s a living room with integrated sofa that faces out one of the large windows; there’s a sleeping loft that’s accessed via stairs that are also storage boxes; that loft sits above a bathroom where the requisite composting toilet resides; and there’s a small (I guess that goes without saying) galley kitchen. Everything has a unified aesthetic, making it look like a pleasant place to hang out.

woonpioniers-toilet

The project seems to be an experiment in low cost, low impact living (Woon means “living,” not wood as I initially assumed) and one its architects, Jelte Glas, will conducting that experiment upon itself, living in it full time. As much as anything, the Porta Palace shows the infinite forms tiny housing can take. See more on Treehugger and the Woonpioneers website.

  • It doesn’t look like it belongs on the prairie, but with windows that large, it’s better off in the prairie than staring at the side of another building in the city.

  • I usually am not a big fan of “tiny houses” on wheels, and prefer a micro-sized unit, but this one is quite different. I like the modern styling and design.

  • Tor

    I just don’t get it. All of the tiny home design issues were solved by travel trailers and boats.

    • I get what you’re saying, but it’s kind of like saying all of the design issues of space flight were solved in the 60’s. There’s room for improvement. And the tiny home movement is about DIY from common suppliers rather than building custom parts.