Part prefab mobile camping unit, part green garden shed and part small-space summer cabin, this tiny, portable, light-weight wooden ‘home’ structure dubbed Walden is a modern reinterpretation of the nature-oriented attitudes of Henry David Thoreau. Most impressive of all: cabin fever is not a concern – the design makes up for in extreme openness what it lakes in square footage.
Barely wider than a standard swing door, the residence by German architect Nils Holger Moormann accommodates a surprising breadth of domestic activities. An open-sided living, dining and reading room sits in the middle and seats four – two per side, facing one another. The exterior walls have a series of built-in cabinets that serve as woodshed-style storage for gardening implements and cupboards for tableware, decorative objects, even a barbeque.
Open to nature (and view) on the main level, this tiny home still has a few secrets accessible up a set of stairs on one end. These are accessed via a door along a skinny side that takes the occupant up to a relatively-enclosed loft bedroom space.
The private sleeping quarters have small slot windows for side views but also a large roof-spanning skylight that slides open for more light, air and a straight-up look to the night sky when lying down. Sure, it is narrow for a double bed, but how wide would it really need to be to sleep a single person (or a skinny pair)?
Famous for works like Civil Disobedience (in which he encourages resistance against overly-controlling governments), Thoreau is perhaps most well known as an advocate of simple living in natural surroundings. As something that can be placed on private land but equally well in a public park, this structure reflects his attitudes toward both individual independence and cultivated simplicity.