The House on Wheels is the most southerly member of Echo Living’s small building collection. Designed and built in their workshop in Scotland, it was commissioned by a yoga teacher from Glasgow who had been unable to find a solution which would protect the integrity of the tiny site and preserve its trees. It was shipped to a remote site on the island of Crete, in Greece, and the little, off-grid hideaway now sits amongst the olive trees and opens up to reveal a beautiful spruce lined living space, with stunning sea views. The building was designed to fit its site with minimal environmental impact and to satisfy local planning requirement that stipulated that the building should be on wheels. Measurements were taken to plot the position of the ancient trees, and the little cabin was designed to sit between them, and also to fit the dimensions of a single lorry for the trip to Crete. Transferred onto a Hiab for the final leg of the journey down dusty, single-track roads, it was finally craned into place between three ancient olive trees. Members of the Echo Living team installed the building, overseeing its delivery and installation, and putting the finishing touches to the interior and exterior. Nestling in the olive grove under its dappled shade, the little white cabin echoes the buildings in the village on the hills above.
The eco cabin retreat has a minimal aesthetic and is off grid; it is powered by solar panels and is heated on cool evenings and during the increasingly snowy, winter months by a small wood burning stove. The kitchen unit houses a 12v fridge and lighting is 12v LED. A Water pipe comes to the cabin from the nearby village supply. Clad in white composite cladding with an etched surface pattern, the little house on wheels comprises two separate buildings: the main living accommodation is linked to the shower room and composting toilet by a timber walkway. The interior is lined in spruce timber panels and has a natural finish and the floor finish is timber and tiles. The main entrance door leads into the rear of the building kitchen. To the front, double sliding doors open onto timber decking for indoor-outdoor living and cooling breezes. Open shelving and the hand built, compact kitchen are suspended in front of the large windows; a timber wall to the side of the kitchen pivots open to extend the space onto the adjacent decking. The living area has built-in seating area with a skylight above and large storage drawers beneath fireplace. The stove and flue sit on a slate hearth in front of a tiled upright which separates the small bed space from the sitting area and has shelving to the bed side. The tiles are the client’s own and were reclaimed from a Glasgow tenement. The discreet double bed space is on a raised platform and has its own little wardrobe, a built-in bedside table with reading light and view to the sea. Above the window wall, a floating roof detail, with flaps running the length of the building, provide extra ventilation; the flaps are held open by small weights made from local stone.
Echo Living is the venture of multidisciplinary designer Sam Booth, and aims to promote elegance and efficiency in sustainable, small scale living.
UPDATE: We’ve sent Echo Living some of your questions and Sam and Maggie replied back. You can read all about it here.