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Oikos studio cottage

March 29, 2010

This one has been an extremely labor intensive model.  It’s a straw bale concept that I liked and modified.  It uses corrugated,  galvanized  grain-bin sidewall for a roof.  It has a super efficient, wood stove furnace and has a good passive solar design and would handle temperature extremes quite well.

It’s late – I’ve been swearing at  the algorithmic programing that guides Sketch-ups’ inference engine ( yes that old chestnut of an annoyance – ” Thats not what I was thinking…. stupid program” – having said that I should say that Sketch-up and I have made up and I still think it is as wonderful as the day we met)

More to follow on this design – must slept and dream of  erasing my dogs untidy lines.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2010 7:52 pm

    Nice design! It has a real charm to it. I’m curious–why is the bed lofted? Couldn’t you put your office/workstation on the other side of the wall to separate your working space from your relaxing space?

    This is actually one of the few designs I’ve seen in recent days that I could actually imagine myself living in. What’s the square footage?

  2. March 30, 2010 8:38 pm

    Thanks. I put a lot of thought into this model – been thinking of this design for about 4 years now. This model is around 650 sq. feet of interior space. I have the bed lofted because it is over (will be over) a small washroom, laundry and mech. room. I have the timber supports for the celestial window span in front of this room which is the front of the desk and entertainment area. I combined the “business with the relaxing “space to save space and that would be my personal preference – it certainly can be reconfigured to meet other peoples ( non-egregious bachelors) needs. I came up with this layout based on the fact that most of my friends and I don’t watch that much television – or to rephrase it – we do not watch much television programing on television but we usually stream programs on the computer. I also like the idea of movable furniture like sawhorse tables and cabinets on wheels – this would make the spring cleaning much easier – just move everything out side on a nice day and take a leaf blower and….. well, did I mention that I am an egregious bachelor. If you notice I have the north half of the house pretty much empty – my big thought on this layout – the big area in the back is the “flex” area – it can be used to do laundry – work on your bike – build a kayak – set up a fancy dinning room – have a curtain divider to create a temporary guest bedroom or what ever you need this space to be. I use to work building sets for theater and I became fond of having space that could become anything you wanted and then it could be easily taken down to build something else – you define the space instead of it defining you.
    Thanks again for your comments – I hope to write more posts on the Oikos Studio Cottage through the week.

    • March 30, 2010 9:30 pm

      I see what you mean about computer video streaming. My only concern is that I hope to write professionally and trying to work in the same room where my family members are hanging out would be impossible. But I could always go for a smaller washroom and a more private office.

      I like the idea of a house with moving parts and doing spring cleaning via leafblower. The idea of flex space is clever, too. There’s a lot of elegance in what seems at first blush like a simple design.

      I’ve never been a fan of the housing designs that utilize moving walls because whenever I see something like this, they usually rely on complicated mechanical systems to move the walls, and if the power goes out or the engine breaks, you’re sunk. This is nice because -you- move the components instead some Rube Goldberg machine.

      I’d love to see a floor plan so I could rearrange the furniture for myself. Playing with the furniture on SketchUp would be even more fun, but I can understand that you might not want to put your files online.

      • March 30, 2010 10:22 pm

        In my new post I have some links to Bob Theis website – I modified the Oikos Cottage design. I thought that this design was begging for a back half – to make a salt box design (of sorts) – the north half roof would shed the cold northern winds of winter. Put in a celestial window frame to let sunlight into the back half to maintain the original passive solar design – the celestial windows will also open into the home ( hinged at the bottom – tilt in to the north – on a hot summer day all the hot air in the home will rise up and push out at the highest spot of the house – pulling in cooler air from below. I also have underground air tubes that come up into the house in front of a small masonry stove I have in the front of the house ( the masonry stove is of Steve James design – more on this design in later posts.) these air tubes will warm the fresh air up in winter and cool it down in summer.
        If I had S.K. pro I would have no problem sharing this design but at the moment I will have to wait until the upgrade but yours is an interesting idea – making a S.K. home that you can furnish your way with components from the S.K. Warehouse – this would be a great way for architects to sell home concepts! At the moment I will try to work with you so you can design your own Oikos Studio Cottage – be sure to read my post this and next week on this design. Until then be sure to read my new post – I have an e-mail from Bob Theis that addresses some of your concerns about having enclosed personal spaces in a home design to promote family cohesion ( again – Bob pegged me right away as the “egregious bachelors that I am – I naturally think of homes in these terms).
        Here is another quick idea – have a small office outbuilding – something like a modified 20ft ISO shipping container.
        I am very glad to hear from you – the whole point of this blog is to start discussions on design ideas

  3. David permalink
    April 4, 2010 11:03 am

    I am a fan of consolidating plumbing runs wherever possible–putting the bath/laundry/kitchen as close together as possible. This cuts down on costs and on use of hot water as well–less waiting for the hot water to arrive when you turn on the tap.

    I’d also be reluctant to have a West-facing window, especially if you don’t have some sort of awning or other shade. In warm weather, that can be a very large heat gain in the afternoons.

    What kind of insulation do you have for your roof system?

    If you are unaware of it, you might want to check out The designer has a method of passive heating and cooling using 2-liter plastic soda bottles stacked in the attic space, fed by air from a sun porch on the South side. In many climates, it can work quite well without backup heat. Fireplaces are usually rather inefficient, in fact, and obviously aren’t passive. However, if you’re going to use the fireplace for heating–why put it on the exterior wall? It would be far more effective in the middle of the space, after all. Your outside air supply tubes wouldn’t care for being a few feet longer, and you would take advantage of warmth on all sides of the fireplace structure.


  1. Tiny House Living , Archive » Oikos Studio Cottage

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