Minim House, a tiny studio dwelling

Gallery: Minim House, a tiny studio dwelling

Minim Homes has just revealed the Minim House, a 235 ft2 (21.8 m2) studio cottage. This tiny house was designed by Foundry Architects and Minim Homes to be efficient in every sense of the word. The tiny floor plan makes efficient use of space, the materials and systems were chosen to use resources efficiently, and the house was designed to streamline the construction process. As Minim Homes is making the plans available for sale (see below), the designers looked for ways to make it easier for inexperienced owner-builders.

The exterior has a very modern aesthetic with no window or corner trim, no overhangs, and hidden rain gutters integrated into the roof. The main finishing materials are untreated cypress shiplap siding and charcoal gray metal roofing. The clean look continues inside with a mostly white color scheme, stainless steel kitchen and minimal trim. Other than the bathroom, it is one open living space. The lack of walls and vaulted ceiling both contribute greatly towards making the Minim House seem much more spacious than its actual size. The galley kitchen lines the end wall adjacent to the entrance, while the bathroom and a small office area with built-in desk are at the far end. To maximize the kitchen counter space, the two-burner cooktop is built into the counter with a removable cutting board cover.

Gallery: Minim House, a tiny studio dwelling

The bathroom is an RV-style wet bath, with no separate shower. Instead the whole room is designed to function as a shower stall, with stainless steel panels waterproofing the walls and a shower curtain keeping water off the toilet and wall-mounted on-demand water heater.

An 8′ long sofa is built in along one of the long walls. Its seat flips up to reveal storage space below. There is plenty more storage with a large closet in the office area and bookshelves opposite the sofa. The table can be raised/lowered and moved to one of four fixed locations via fittings set in the floor, allowing it to function as a dining table, coffee table, kitchen work surface or bedside table. The floor fitting idea was borrowed from the boating world, but a table on casters would offer even more flexibility for a house on land.

Gallery: Minim House, a tiny studio dwelling

With no loft, you might wonder where the occupants are supposed to sleep. The sofa is an obvious guess, and it was in fact designed for occasional use as a guest bed. However, there is another, hidden bed. The office area is raised by about a foot, allowing a queen-sized bed to be concealed below. It pulls out like a drawer at bedtime and slides back in during the day. This clever design has obvious advantages over a loft bed, including eliminating the need to climb a ladder and making it much easier to make up the bed.

Gallery: Minim House, a tiny studio dwelling

For ease of construction by inexperienced owner-builders, the walls are formed from pre-cut structural insulated panels. SIPs are relatively easy to assemble and save time by combining the wall structure, sheathing and insulation into a single step. The windows are few in number but large in size, saving the builder time on installation and detailing while still providing a generous amount of window area.

The Minim House is ideal for off-grid use with a rooftop photovoltaic array and an integrated rainwater collection system with water filters. Heat comes from a small propane fireplace. SIP construction is very air tight so there is little heat loss due to drafts. Instead, controlled ventilation is provided by a heat recovery ventilator, which saves energy by transferring heat from the stale exhaust air to the fresh incoming air.

The Minim House can be built either on a standard foundation or on a trailer so it can be moved occasionally (at 11′ wide, a wide load permit will be required in most places). To purchase the plans, please see the Minim Homes website. Foundry Architects and Minim Homes have put a lot of thought into getting the most from a tiny space. If you agree, please share this article using the buttons below!

Photographs by Paul Burk, courtesy of Minim Homes.

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