A very unique tiny dwelling has been designed by Studio Precht called The Bert. This unusual home provides the benefit of flexibility in the design process by offering multiple interior layout options and it will be able to run off-the-grid. Amusingly enough, the architects drew inspiration for The Bert from rather unlikely sources: Minions characters and Sesame Street.
A start-up company called Baumbau that specializes in tourist-friendly tiny houses and treehouses contracted The Bert to be designed. A standard Bert house will be made from wood but it can also be built using steel. All versions will feature a stacked tower-like design with a circular form, oversized porthole-style windows, a green roof (featuring a rooftop garden), and leaf-like shingles on the façade.
Its round, trunk-like figure makes it look a lot like a tree, however cartoon characters were the intention. Studio Precht says:
We are fully aware that architecture is this serious and profound craft with a long culture and tradition. You see that when we architects find reference for our projects in art, philosophy, literature or nature. For this project, we also looked at art to find reference. But not at Michelangelo or Dali. Rather we looked at cartoon characters of Sesame Street or Minions.
- On the ground floor – which is accessed by stairs – there will be a bathroom with a composting toilet and some kind of water treatment system.
- On the first floor (the next level up) there will be a kitchenette, some seating, and a bed.
- On the second floor, there will be more seating area and a bed.
- On the top floor is a rooftop garden that features a small balcony with chairs.
However, as mentioned before, the layout can be changed according to the clients’ wishes. The layout is flexible thanks to its modular nature. Studio Precht says:
The modular system of Bert makes it easy to react to a client’s brief in real time. The client informs the architects about the desired program, like bedrooms, kitchen, living room, library and bathroom, after which they can make immediately different variations of arrangements with all necessary information of cost, size, schedule, etc. That gives the clients a certain transparency about things that keep uncertain during a common design process for a long time.
To have the house outfitted to run off-the-grid with the composting toilet, as well as solar panels installed either on the roof or nearby, is optional. In early 2020 The Bert will be made available for purchase starting at €120,000 (roughly US$137,000).