For the last few years, most of the tiny homes we hear about are based in North America -- at least the ones with the recognizable "tiny house on wheels" aesthetic. But the tiny house movement does appear to be catching on elsewhere, even in places in Europe such as Austria and France -- places where people are already familiar with smaller living spaces.
French builder La Tiny House is one of these European tiny house pioneers, having started a couple of years ago and completing about 15 small dwellings since. We're taking a look at one of their latest designs that they are dubbing the Tinystream -- the designers say it's a reference to vintage Airstream trailers. In this interview with La Tiny House co-founder Bruno Thiéry via Tiny House Giant Journey, we hear a bit about the challenges of building tiny on the Old Continent:
For starters, in France one has to deal with a maximum allowable weight of 3.5 metric tons (7,700 pounds), compared to the American standard of around 10,000 pounds. But there's a silver lining: it means that French builders need to be a bit more innovative in finding ways to shed weight. For instance, the company will work with local boat trailer builders to get a lighter trailer custom-built, and will attach their homes onto this "bed trailer" with clamps, so as to make them demountable in order to comply with requirements. It also means that La Tiny House's structures can be towed by smaller vehicles, compared to the US -- an advantage as there are so many old bridges and narrower roadways here.
The Tinystream features wood and lightweight aluminum cladding on the outside, with a distinct, split-curved roof that gives the house a more aerodynamic form. Stepping through the double patio doors, one enters a small seating area, followed by the kitchen.
Here there is a long eat-in counter with a live-edge wooden slab.
Off to the side is an interesting curved stair leading up to the sleeping loft.
The bathroom is simple, featuring a composting toilet.
Thiéry mentions that he was inspired to start building tiny homes by a client who approached him with a project to build a tiny house for him and his family. In completing the project, Thiéry realized that living in a tiny home was not only entirely doable, but could also bring a measure of economic freedom and joy in living more simply -- something that he believes many other Europeans will respond positively to.
In addition to working with clients to create custom designs, La Tiny House makes other distinctive tiny models and sizes that range in price from 23,500 to 45,000 euros (USD $26,400 to $50,500). They can be built to be hooked up to utilities or to a solar kit, and can be offered partially finished for do-it-yourselfers who are on a tighter budget. It's great to see that small homes and living simply are sustainable memes that's gaining ground around the world; for more info, check out Tiny House Giant Journey and La Tiny House.