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Rolling huts: metal-clad tiny wheeled homes move on a meadow

When Michal Friedrich bought an old farm-turned-RV-park in Washington State’s Methow Valley, he wanted to restore the floodplain meadow while leaving it open to guests. He called on Seattle architect Tom Kundig, known for his mechanized homes often reliant on archaic pulleys, cranks and levers, to construct alternative mobile cabins (alternative RV park).

The six Rolling Huts– steel clad boxes on steel wheels- have never actually rolled (they were built on-site by local contractors), but they fit the legal definition of “mobile” and the site’s zoning as an RV park. Each tiny, elevated cabin is left as raw as possible with an all-plywood interior – including plywood furniture that can be reconfigured from benches and stools to coffee table to a bed.

The 200-square-foot floating huts (each a nightly rental) are electrified, but not plumbed so each comes with a composting toilet (and access to the bunkhouse with more toilets and showers) and a bucket for gathering water from the hand pump directly below.

The Rolling Huts were inspired by Kundig’s “Delta Shelter”, the home the architect designed on the same property for Friedrich and his family. Also a steel box on stilts, this one has metal shutters close up the entire house via a crank mechanism comprised of gears and pulleys. A hand-powered crank, like a ship’s wheel, moves all four shutters at once to close up the home (even during a power outage).