Hivehaus, a modular dwelling with a honeycomb plan
A documentary on bees inspired builder Barry Jackson to create the Hivehaus, a modular housing system based on a standard-sized unit called a cell. Each hexagonal cell is a single room with 9.3 m2 (100 ft2) of floor space. Cells can be combined in numerous ways, resulting in custom floor plans. Cutting the corners off a square room removes the parts that are typically the least usable. Unlike with a circular room though, the Hivehaus’ hexagon shape still makes it easy to place furniture against the walls, with the 2 m (6.5′) long wall sections being a good length for a couch or the head of a bed.
The Hivehaus shown here has three full cells (living room, kitchen, bedroom) plus a diamond-shaped (1/3 of a hexagon) bathroom nestled between the bedroom and kitchen modules, for a total of about 30.7 m2 (333 ft2). Triangular closets (1/6 of a hexagon) can also be joined to any of the hexagon faces. As the pieces are bolted together, it is easy to expand a Hivehaus by adding a new cell at any time. When a new cell is installed, the exterior wall panels removed from the existing structure can be reused on the new section.
The cells are delivered as a set of flatpack panels, each of which is small enough to be handled by two people. The floor system is supported by adjustable steel jacks at each corner, which makes it easy to align the modules vertically and adjust for uneven terrain. The wall panels are either solid wall or floor-to-ceiling window. The solid wall panels consist of a core of foam insulation bonded to an MDF interior and an OSB exterior with powder-coated steel cladding.
One innovative feature unique to the Hivehaus is the “fire wall”, a living room wall section that swings open taking the wood stove outside with it so you can enjoy the fire out on the patio. While it’s a neat concept, if the weather was cool enough for a fire, would you really want your house wide open to the cold air?
More practical is the innovative kitchen design, which could be of benefit to many small and tiny houses especially. The upper doors fold out with double sets of hinges to reveal a remarkable amount of storage. When closed, the doors hide the counter from view. The kitchen was designed and built by Culshaw Bell, who sell several similar units.
If you are interested, there is much more information on the Hivehaus website.
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