Monday, April 2, 2012

Eddies in the space-time continuum.

"Ah," nodded Arthur, "Is he. Is he." - from Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams

Not really. We do have an Eddie in the family, and as far as I know, he is in Austin delivering the mail. But there are eddies in the design elements of BaHa Ranch.

The original idea for BaHa Ranch came from seeing construction site offices like the one on the left:

I saw some used ones for sale online and thought one might make a perfect cabin to put on our land. BA wasn't interested until he saw these pictures on a Google search (I've had them saved on my computer for so long that I don't remember exactly where they came from, but they can probably be found in more than one location with all the container home websites and articles that are popping up out there...the captions have the names of the design and/or company)...

The "Ecopod"

The "All-Terrain Cabin"

We looked at all kinds of container homes online, and the ones that seemed the most practical and accessible were  these two:

Our floor plan was modeled off this one - it looks like a perfect little living space.
Got the picture from Tiny House Blog. Click the link for more pictures of this container.

We love this idea for the end doors. Ours might not turn out just like this,
but we're going for a similar concept. This is a "Port-a-bach" from New Zealand.

And from there - the design of Box 1 - we plan to add four more boxes and a courtyard. The outer design has changed repeatedly due to the landscape. The interior floor plan is a fluid entity that will probably change regularly until the day we hammer in the last nail. The interior design changes with whatever we can find cheap, free, used, on sale, etc. 

For instance, the original living room/dining room/kitchen for Box 1 was going to look something like this:

And then we realized that we might begin to fill cooped up living in such a small space for a year. So we have now left one wall blank: that we can add one of the first design elements that we had liked and then discarded as being impracticle, but have now deemed to be practicle once again:

A fold-out porch! This way we can open up the whole wall using a winch, and the metal from the wall will either be a porch or a roof when folded out. Then, it can be raised back up at night or when the weather doesn't allow for indoor/outdoor living.

And to emulate the "Port-a-bach" pictured above, we've decided to do something along these lines: adding an enclosed or screened-in sunroom where the porch sits now. Then we'll have maybe a daybed or bench that folds down to perch between the metal doors when they are open, and somehow folds up out of the way when the doors are closed. This, too, will make our space feel larger.

The design of the future, 5-box house tends to change from time to time, too. For instance, the master suite has been redesigned many time, from the original: the current plan, which keeps more of the supporting side-walls of the metal containers in place:

Building this way is a brand new experience for us. The first home we owned together was a traditional, suburban home. We "built" it by picking out a postage stamp of land in a master-planned community, choosing from one of several pre-made floorplans, and then spending a couple of hours at a "design center" where the most strenuous thing we had to do was fill out a piece of paper with our preferences. About a month later, we had a house. And it was a lovely house, don't get me wrong. We loved it very much, but the recession made us rethink our long-term plans.

Our first home
I admit, I was bitter when we had to sell it. The picture below is a sculpture piece that I created less than a year later - my point at the time was to depict the soullessness of master-planned communities, the ugliness of rooftops placed so close together, and the environmental damage and stress that is done by crowding so many homes onto land that used to be fields and forests.

It ain't pretty. I put a lot of work into making it ugly, on purpose.
This sculpture was displayed at the TWU Art Walk in 2010.
I do still think that I had a good point, but my judgmental delivery was a bit heavy-handed, especially considering how much I did love our first home.

On a lighter note:

To go with the title and the quote at the top, here is a picture of a sofa in a field.
And yes, I know I'm a nerd, but if you get the reference, then maybe you are too ;)

BA's dad in our redneck living room

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