Imaginative tiny house is a mobile classroom, community center and curio (Video)

Tiny House Giant Journey
via Tiny House Giant Journey

Be they modern, rustic or Japanese-inspired, we've seen an assortment of lovely tiny houses, and even a few tiny house communities to boot. But not all tiny homes have to be private residences; Vancouverite Zee Kesler turned her structure into a roving community centre, a classroom and a curio, on top of wheels.

Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture

As Kesler explains on the centre's website:

The Tiny Community Centre is the world's smallest mobile classroom, artist residency and curiosity cabinet! Built primarily of waste and recycled materials from the film and construction industries, the project calls the viewer to examine the waste generated in their own lives & consider how it can be re-purposed to create positive social change.

We are treated to a tour thanks to the intrepid hosts of Tiny House Giant Journey, where Kesler, a community-based artist whose work is to engage the public, explains some of the construction and planning process that went on behind the scenes. It was truly a labour of love, friendship and a community effort:

Tiny House Giant Journey© Tiny House Giant Journey
Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture

As Kesler says, this tiny community centre is a modified version of the Tumbleweed Fencl plan. A few things were changed, like a pinwheel-arrangement of extra windows to let in more light; adding a bigger, wheelchair-accessible door; and it appears that the standard "Great Room" has been swapped out with a lovely L-shaped kitchen, skillfully outfitted with recycled materials. It's a pleasant improvement.

Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture
Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture

All told, it cost about CDN $27,000 to build, using recycled materials and some fundraising. There is no actual toilet or shower in here; that space will be transformed into some kind of photo booth or dark room. Similarly, the loft above seems to be vaguely used as of yet, but there are plans to convert it into a place to store shoes and coats.

Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture

But the real outstanding quality is the graphic impact of the centre's murals and little artsy knick-knacks, all of which create an inspiring place to take painting and drawing lessons, tinker, work with textiles, and to generally let one's creative hair down.

Tiny House Giant JourneyTiny House Giant Journey/Video screen capture

Kesler's concept is an intriguing one: she envisions this tiny house not as an enclave for the downsizing individual, but as a magnet and hub for people to come together and take classes from guest instructors. This tiny hub would stay in a community for six to eighteen months, help establish a real social network, and move onto the next town. The tiny house may be gone, but the newly formed hub of social connections stay. In a way, it is a kind of mobile community generator, livening up places wherever it goes.

The Tiny Community Centre is currently residing at Trout Lake, British Columbia; to find out what classes are going on and where it will be next, visit the Magic Trout Imaginarium and the Tiny Community Centre.

Tags: Communities | Education | Small Spaces | Vancouver

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