Prefab, Off Grid and Nowhere to Go
A reader tipped us off to this tiny home called SMO (Sklopivi Mobilni Objekt, or folding mobile house). Designed by Croatian architect Ivica Gjurić, the home is primarily intended as a vacation residence. It is a mere 258 sq ft; this figure can be halved in 5-6 minutes when its two sides fold into each other via hydraulic compressors for easier transport.
The house can be operated completely off-grid. Solar panels handle electricity; the builders say it can operate with minimal sun for three days with solar-charged batteries. Water is brought in from rainwater collectors. Heating and the stove are fueled by a propane tank. There is a built-in wastewater filtration unit so you won’t need to get a septic tank.
The designers packed the interior with a ton features as well. The living room is the master bedroom and kitchen; a floor-to-ceiling window makes the little room feel surprisingly spacious. There is a kid’s room, which consists of a couple bunk beds that fold down over a built in table. A large cabinet on casters acts as storage and divider between the rooms. A retracting tent serves as guest room or storage area. The bathroom has an innovative (or mildly disgusting) sink faucet that can stretch to act as a wand bidet.
Similar to tiny houses, this house sidesteps building permits by being mounted on a trailer. The foundation consists of a steel frame mounted to adjustable legs that accommodate any surface pitch. Gjurić claims this structure is earthquake proof and flood proof since you can raise the legs above the waterline–just take out your fishing rod and enjoy the rain.
The unit here is a prototype, but they intend to bring it to market. Its main structure is prefabricated to increase build quality and efficiency, but custom options are available (a catalogue is available on their website). Costs are reported to be between €800-2000/sq meter depending on your options.
There is a ton of innovation packed into this tiny house. Though having a second home might strike some as “unedited”, even the most zealous city-dweller sometimes needs a retreat. Something like this might, unlike some vacation homes, be hassle free enough to actually constitute a resting spot.