Several years ago, Californian architect Matthew Hofmann moved out of a big house into a vintage Airstream trailer that he converted into a stunning, modern live-work space.
Having designed and implemented a number of other small-space renovations in the intervening years, Hofmann's firm HofArc is now offering Living Vehicle (LV), a small, aluminum-clad home that looks like a cross between a futuristic trailer and a shipping container on wheels. The aim is to create durable, self-contained (and eventually self-sustaining) gem of a home out of materials with low environmental impact.
The firm writes:
The capacity for life to endure in a sustainable way means relying less on external means. To enhance it’s off-grid capability, LV is equipped with four 150-watt solar panels, four 12-volt lithium ion batteries, and a 3000-watt power inverter. With the inclusion of a 100-gallon freshwater tank and oversized storage compartments, LV can support two people living comfortably in remote wilderness areas for nearly one month. Our ten-year goal is to incorporate technology for LV to produce its own water and food resources.
Covered in shiny aluminum, which is both long-lasting and recyclable, the 215-square-foot Living Vehicle's outer walls gleam with an almost mirror-like shine, allowing it to reflect light and heat, and to blend into its surroundings (no doubt some will say that this may confuse the birds).
Inside, the LV's spaces include a kitchen, a dining area that's seemingly RV-inspired, enough convertible bed-spaces to sleep six and a bathroom. The kitchen feels well-appointed and features an island, space for a full-sized refrigerator, sink, stove and plenty of storage.
There's even a hidden bed that can be electronically lowered down over the dining area, for sleeping two guests.
This part of the home is also the main space for lounging around, as evidenced by the large patio doors which offer a view out to the landscape, and can be spatially extended with either an exterior deck or ramp.
The bathroom is situated next to the kitchen. Its shower feels spa-like with the use of a skylight overhead.
The bed in the sleeping room can either be fixed or be an optional convertible bed that can fold up to create more floor space. The home uses sliding barn-style doors throughout to save space -- here in the bedroom it hides a mirror on the wall. There's a skylight here too for night-gazing.
There are a number of premium features included for Living Vehicle. For instance, for those who will be residing in extreme hot or cold climates, the home can come with a thermal break incorporated on its exterior side, dual-pane windows, full insulation, AC with heat pump and a high-capacity furnace. It can come with a lot of tech too, through another upgrade package that can get a combination LTE and WIFI antenna installed on the roof, and app-controlled monitoring of home functions, lighting and so on.
The Living Vehicle is not cheap, considering that pricing for a well-equipped one starts at USD $129,995, but since the LV is a RVIA-certified product, it's actually eligible for traditional vehicle financing, an advantage over self-built tiny homes which are limited in their eligibility for such loans. It also seems more sturdy than your run-of-the-mill RV.
While the Living Vehicle is not exactly at the same price point as a DIY tiny home, it will ultimately speak to the modern boondocking homeowner who wants to live in style and convenience, without wasting too much energy or water. For more specs and details, go to Living Vehicle.