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Canadian Firm to Market ‘IKEA Box’ Houses

Friday, December 2, 2016

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While tiny houses have become a ubiquitous trend in recent years, a Canadian architecture firm is promising to take the idea to the next level this coming year, with a model house kit that comes flat-packed and can be assembled like a piece of IKEA furniture.

Backcountry Hut plan
Images: Backcountry Huts Company

The company envisions the huts being built in a “barn-raising” style process by a small group of people, not necessarily a crew of construction pros.

The Backcountry Hut Company, a project of Leckie Studio Architecture + Design, has revealed plans for several sizes and two different models of the do-it-yourself huts, which the company says it envisions being built in a “barn-raising” style process by a small group of people, not necessarily a crew of construction pros.

Award of Merit

The huts, which were recognized with an Award of Merit at the Nov. 30 Canadian Architecture Awards of Excellence ceremony, come in two styles—Backcountry, meant for recreational use in remote, off-grid locations, and Frontcountry, meant for use as a residence in more connected locations.

The smallest Backcountry model comes in at 191 square feet and can sleep two to four people; the largest is 937 square feet, and can sleep 16-24, according to the company. The Frontcountry model starts at the 191 square-foot size and is scalable.

Hand-Dug Piling Holes

The whole building method is designed to have as small a footprint as possible, and be as easy as possible for do-it-yourselfers to pull off: Rather than using heavy machinery for grading and foundation work, the company says builders will hand-dig holes and pour concrete into sonotubes to create the piles.

Frontcountry model interior

The Frontcountry model, with a more developed interior, is made to be a full-time residence, in a more connected location than the off-grid Backcountry model.

The Backcountry model can be transported to a site by off-road vehicle or helicopter, according to the company’s vision. This more rustic model is geared toward “the outdoor enthusiast, outdoor clubs, alpine associations, and backcountry lodge operators.” It has a more basic interior than the Frontcountry model.

According to NewAtlas, the company will be providing more information on materials and thermal performance in the coming weeks, and plans to begin production in 2017. Pricing has not been officially announced, though the company is inviting potential builders to get in touch about a quote.


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Building Envelope; Design; North America; Residential Construction

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/2/2016, 8:42 AM)

That is a truly huge percentage of nonusable space under the stairs for a "tiny house" concept. They apparently don't understand how a tiny house should work. Typically it would be incorporated as some sort of storage (cubbies, drawers, cabinets)

Comment from Jesse Melton, (12/6/2016, 1:34 AM)

The rendering is intended to make the interior look as large as possible. Maximizing useful space is shown in another drawing.

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