Meet Bento

from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento
from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento

The FORGE system from my earlier post inspired me. I’ve tried to see how much I can push the limits to keep my shipping container looking unmodified when it’s closed up. By basing the design on the use of a side opening configuration, I can have a container that is largely open along one side as well as the short end. Those doors are big and heavy, however with simple finishes, my overall project should still be roadworthy. 20140614-232214-84134780.jpg

So, on to the good stuff. I have spent a few hours reconsidering nearly every part of the layout and removed the traditional tiny house loft. It is instead replaced with a storage/sleeping platform. Nearly everything that is not being used, which doesn’t contain plumbing, could sit its own little compartment. It’s like a Japanese bento box., or maybe a traditional wooden puzzle box. I’ve tried to have elements of the design serve more than a single function, which really will make this feel like a house that is many times larger than the footprint suggests. So, here it is. I’m taking the lid off my design and I hope you enjoy it. I present, Bento: This series of vignettes is modeled on my iPad, using Autodesk FormIt, a free 3D modeling environment. I will take you through the transport mode, to standard living, to food prep, dining, sleep time and ‘party mode’ (where the center floor space opens up). Click on an image to view the gallery as a slide show.

I still need to work out how the pop out breakfast/reading nook will function. That’s one of the pieces I removed so you could see into the great room. Also, there’s opportunities to explore the storage and access to the covered porch off the bedroom. Now, to begin detailing this design, while continuing to complete a deal with a trailer fabricator. I’m down to three options, and I could have more to share very soon. Exciting! I’m really curious to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment. Thanks.

Another UnBoxed find: Forge

Since my last update on the models and sketches I’ve been exploring, I decided that my project needs a little simplifying. By maintaining the original enclosure, and removing the loft, I am looking to do more with less. I should have something to share on my own designs again shortly.

I’ve begun exploring Pinterest to look at both tiny houses and shipping container projects, thanks to my good friend and architect Bob. There are so many great projects out there, and I will be updating my ‘pins’ often, so feel free to subscribe. This week, I discovered a site that has developed a flexible system for container studios – very much in line with my new goals for this project. The site is ContainerPlan and they call this system FORGE. I love the tag line –
Dedicated DIY“.
You can download plans and 3D models for a modest fee. There’s some clever design ideas here and even with the doors and a long wall panel removed the design keeps the spirit of the container; while updating the look in a way that would make it welcome in any neighborhood. 20140612-205632-75392817.jpg

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To see more details of how these are crafted, see: http://containerplan.com/design-features

Hello, Dolly!

Container DollyWell, here’s an alternative to a trailer that I had not previously considered.  This, dear readers, is what is known as a cargo dolly.  In its former life, this was used by the military to transport equipment and temporary buildings.  This is an intriguing idea, since the container could sit lower than a trailer when transporting to save fuel, and can be set back down and the dolly stowed for future use.  The photo shows it not quite in it’s upright position, which is a little higher than the axle. The seller updated it, added electric brakes, cleaned it up with some shiny paint and it passed inspection with the Texas DOT.  It could be yours, for the right price on eBay. Current bid is USD $2,000. That’s priced significantly less than some other options, which is something to sing about.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shipping-Container-Mobil-Dolly-or-Trailer-/310971422109?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item486757559d

First Official Purchase

LILLÅNGENOK, so many would expect the trailer or at least the shipping container as the first thing I would buy. Well, as it turns out the trailer I was looking at buying is a bit more expensive than I was planning, and shipping from the fabricator, located in Florida, would be cost prohibitive as well. I’m now seeking alternatives.

I have been keeping a list of things that I absolutely will include in my design. One of those items, installed in several tiny houses that I admire: the smallest configuration of LILLÅNGEN sink from Ikea. This is a vanity sink which turns the fixture on its side – literally. Since its reversible, I can later decide if I want left or right configuration. I brought this baby home yesterday along with tired feet and a handful of new ideas. I may build a cabinet, use wall brackets or salvage something from the RE Store.

Since I am all about sharing, I’ve modeled this with the optional wall brackets in Revit for your use. It’s a little simplified, however this should help visualize the space required. Please let me know if there are other formats you’d like for these models. I hope you enjoy.

VanitySink_Ikea_LILLÅNGENClick to download the Revit Family:

VanitySink_Ikea_LILLÅNGEN.rfa