Our Tiny Home – Architecture graduate featured on George Clarke's Amazing Spaces

Issue date: 02 November 2015

Christian Montez, a UWE Bristol MArch Architecture graduate showcased Our Tiny Home, his radical approach to getting on the housing ladder, on a recent episode of C4's George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.

Our Tiny Home, is the creation of Herefordshire couple Christian Montez and Kyra Powell. Fed up of paying extortionate rental rates, they decided to build their own cabin on farmland entirely from scrap, on a budget of zero pounds, as a stepping stone towards owning their first home. Christian set about this challenge whilst completing his PART II finals at the University.

Camera crews followed the couple in June as they began work on the 5 x 3 meters cabin. Talking about the project, Christian comments, “The idea was to create a space for working, sleeping and relaxing away from the farm to give us some space while we worked on a barn conversion for our permanent home.

“Using the skills we'd acquired though workingon the farm and previous projects, we put a plan together and went on the hunt to see what materials we could scavenge and reuse. The cabin is fully portable, built onto an extended truck axel where we made a simple RSJ frame. The design evolved as it went along as most of it was in my head, but went fairly smoothly, using nearly all recycled parts, all for a budget of £2000. We had some friends help put the main construction together; it then took me 9 weeks to complete after my course portfolio hand in.

“The beautiful cabin is constructed out of recycled and reusedmaterials, has two contrasting elevations. From the back it looks like a traditional cabin and from the front it has a contemporary feel. There is a real wow factor as soon as you walk through the door and you are hit with the huge glass facade framing the beautiful landscape. Hopefully I can now take the idea forward as a business, teaching other people how to reuse and build their own tiny homes. By next year, subject to planning permission we should hopefully have a couple more designs built and people will be able to come and stay with us.”

Christian is set to share his experience with UWE Architecture students in the new year when he'll deliver an Ibstock lecture on this innovative project.

Elena Marco, Head of Department, Architecture and the Built Environment, says, “I am delighted to see Christian using his design and sustainable creative re-use skills to create better places to work and live. This project shows that high quality spaces can be small but need to be carefully designed and executed in order to deliver better value. I am pleased to see one of our graduates making such an impact after just graduating. A real credit to Christian's professional skills.”

For more information please visit the Our Tiny Home website, Facbook page or Twitter feed.

For more information on studying at UWE Bristol please visit the Architecture at UWE Bristol webpages.

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