Architect Camino Alonso wanted to create a small, portable, prefab home, but she didn’t want it to feel like a shipping container. Camino, along with her husband and siblings (also architects at their firm Ábaton), created ÁPH80, a tiny home that ships like furniture, but has the style and usability of a smartphone.
Their Casa Transportable (“Transportable House”) is manufactured in 6 weeks in a CNC factory in Northern Spain. Their largest model (9 by 3 meters) is still small enough to fit on the back of a truck. The height of 3.5 meters allows for a gabled roof to give it the feel of a real house, but it’s just low enough to fit under bridges and tunnels while on the road.
Once the house arrives at the site, like a shipping container, it is craned into place in as little as 20 minutes. When Ábaton installed their prototype house on an empty plot in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Madrid, they had dug a few small holes in preparation for the “foundation footings”: in this case, recycled wood blocks left over from other construction projects, but cement or a nice rock work as a foundation as well.
Ábaton provides instructions and sketches so any crane operator can put the home in place. The home arrives fully plumbed and wired. Their prototype home is the “apartment” with kitchen/living room, bathroom (with full shower) and bedroom (bed included), but they offer other models for those looking interested in simply placing an extra bedroom in their backyard (they offer several combinations e.g. a bedroom/bathroom, 2 bedrooms, living room/kitchen, bedroom/living room; furniture by Batavia).
CNC-milled grey cement-board panels lock together to provide not only a sleek exterior but a ventilated facade. This layered exterior along with 10 centimeters of insulation means the home is thermally efficient – useful for off-grid purposes, but it also means that even without AC on a very hot day in Madrid, the inside of the space stayed cool (we also filmed a video with the Alonso’s at the abandoned stable they turned into a country home).