Looking at the history of architecture, the development of tiny houses on wheels has a strong connection with the evolution of the human lifestyle. Recently, the tiny house movement has gained a lot of popularity and interest in people as it is a minimalist and flexible way of living to a certain extent. 

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Travel bloggers these days have hyped the popularity of tiny homes on wheels. It can be moved at any time and does not require a permit to be built. Such homes are economical and eco-friendly solutions to live with less material possessions in a space which is specially designed to meet the clients’ requirements. Though the invention of homes on wheels is not clear, there is a series of archaeological evidence of wheeled vehicles dating back to 3400bc in Eurasia and the Middle east. Talking about the 1800s, when travel trailers and caravanning was used in Europe by roman people and showmen who spent most of their lives in horse drawn caravans. In the 1920s in the United States and Canada, travel trailers became popular for the tourists and those who enjoyed their use were often referred to as ‘tin can tourists’. Trailers became liveable and earned a new name in the 1930s and 1940s as ‘house trailers’. Today these travel trailers are classified as a type of RV (recreational vehicle) along with motor homes, truck campers, fifth-wheel trailers and pop up trailers.

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Leisure caravan, the Wanderer. ©wikipedia.org
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Elaborate caravan built by Howcroft ©wikipedia.org

Tiny houses which are designed on wheels resemble these concepts of trailers and RV but the main difference which lies between these two is about their primary function. A wheeled house are homes equipped with tools that enable their mobility and the trailers are vehicles equipped with amenities of a residence.

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An Airstream travel trailer ©wikipedia.org
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RV used in canada for road trips. ©thequirkytraveller.com

All these small scale houses are usually located in  rural or suburban areas where they replace the foundation with wheels, which turn out to be an advantage in adapting and adjusting to different contexts. This free adaptability results in a huge reduction of environmental impact as there is no drilling, earthwork or any kind of hindrance to nature, along with which it provides significant self sufficiency.

In this article, we have listed several unique tiny houses built on wheels which provide functionality, flexibility, style, and mobility.

1. Base cabin, Melbourne

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Interior of the living area and the balcony.©www.studio-edwards.com
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Interior of the living area and the balcony.©www.studio-edwards.com

Designed by a Melbourne based firm, Studio Edwards wanted to create minimal and contemporary  mobile retreat. This project was a fresh design approach to  ‘micro-home typology’ which provides an intimate connection to nature and great outdoors.

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For the design inspiration, architect Ben Edwards looked at both the iconic airstream trailer(for streamlined shape) and A frame cabin which along with giving asymmetric geometry was structurally efficient using less material hence less weight on wheels than conventional portal framed buildings. The base cabin was predominantly cladded in one material i.e. the black rubber which gave homogenous aesthetics and weatherproof properties, seamlessly wrapping the angular form.                      

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Interior of the living area and the balcony. ©www.dezeen.com
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Interior of the living area and the balcony. ©www.dezeen.com

Base cabin a wooden micro home on wheels is divided into 3 rooms , bathroom, main living and dining and a bedroom with triangular windows connecting to the landscape outside.With a sleek rubber skin, Studio Edwards has turned the simple A-frame cabin into a mobile home.

2. Rolling Huts, Mazama, Washington

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Interior of the living area and the balcony.©olsonkundig.com

Responding to the owner’s requirement for space that can house visiting friends and family, the Rolling Huts designed by architect Olson Kundig remain low-tech and low-impact in their design. The wheels lift the structure above the floodplain meadow in an alpine river valley, providing space for native grass to grow and giving unobstructed views to the surrounding mountains.

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Interior of the living area and the balcony. ©olsonkundig.com
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Interior space.©olsonkundig.com

There are 6 huts grouped as a herd and construction of each hut is simple. It is a steel clad box on a steel and wooden platform with walls which are topped by clerestory windows. Living spaces occupy 200 sq ft inside the box and 240 sq ft covered deck space. Interior finishes are left raw made of cork and plywood are simple and inexpensive. While the exteriors are durable, no maintenance materials like steel, plywood, and car-decking. The raw character of the material used responds and integrates well with the natural setting.

3. The clover

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Interior of the living area and the balcony. ©www.designboom.com
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Interior space. ©www.designboom.com

Designed by an Ohio-based company, this modern tiny living, is an extremely functional home on wheels. It packs all necessities and a large social area in 22 sq.m. The structure features a large u shaped living area which is of small size but is indeed cosy and welcoming. It is a perfect example of utilizing and saving space while designing. It feels spacious and functional. The house is 7 meters long and comes with extra inbuilt storage under the elevated living space and staircase which leads to the bedroom on the above level. The materials used in the construction is poplar wood throughout and modern concrete countertops with sage green cabinets and a full bath. It can also be customized to fit any individual preferences. 

4. An Australian Tiny Home.

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Interior of the living ©www.archdaily.com
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Interior space. ©www.archdaily.com

The first CABN cabin is set in 180 acres of natural scrubland, adjacent to a conservation park boasting incredible walking trails, dams, creeks and breathtaking scenery. Situated in the stunning Adelaide Hills which is less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, this structure connects the user with the wineries and conservation parks nearby.

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Amidst nature, CABN has used locally available material for the construction which allows struct quality control. This is a sustainable and an eco-friendly project set in Australia’s one of the stunning and stimulating landscapes offering ideal espace reconnecting the user to nature.

5. Land Ark RV.

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Interior of the living ©www.archdaily.com
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Interior space. ©www.archdaily.com

Designed by American husband-wife duo Brian and Joni Buzarde who dreamt of making their own home on wheels so that they won’t be anchored in the same place. They built this based on their own experience of building and living in a mobile home, this provides all the modern amenities one could ask for. fleshed out in a sleek environment of understated luxury and minimalist sensibility. It is in other words like any other thoughtfully designed high-end house, albeit one you can drive around anywhere you wish to go.

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Interior of the living ©www.yatzer.com
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Interior space. ©www.yatzer.com

The recreational vehicle combines a crisp, contemporary profile with mid-century modernist elegance that radically redefines the staid image of the typical camper trailer, working best in terms of privacy and functionality, from storage ideas and plumbing to sleeping arrangements and natural lighting.

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Author

Diksha is an architecture graduate from Nirma University, 2020. Being an avid traveler, she has always tried to connect the city's culture with architecture. She is a keen observer, finds inspiration from unexplored places and believes that true essence of architecture lies in its execution (form generation) and user experience.

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