This stunning tiny home in a mountain ski town in New Zealand is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.
The structure is made of structural straw and lime-colored. It looks like it was carved from stone.
Evan is the talented builder and owner of this home in Ohakune, which he likes to call “Pumice” because it looks like a giant stone.
Evan and Kevin, Evan’s business partner, built the house. Both men have been working in straw bale house building for the past 30 years. However, they were unaware of tiny houses and what it meant to them.
To give the straw a structural capacity, they first shaped it and compressed it. They then plastered it with lime, which Evan says is their “favorite medium.”
“Lime breathes really well. It’s water resilient, and it’s got some really nice healing attributes, so it doesn’t crack very much,” he told Bryce Langston of Living Big In A Tiny House.
The house looks extremely natural and gives off that cave-like feel, but Evan said many people have described it as an “oversized pizza oven.”
The fireplace outside is made out of one-and a half tons of rock, which gives the home a lot more character.
Before one can get inside, one must pass a threshold of water with smooth rocks.
“We have had people comment about the dangers associated with late-night returns from the pub, but it all seemed to work okay,” Evan said with a laugh.
The length of pumice is approximately 10 meters and the width is 5 and a quarter meters. The bales measure 500 millimeters thick.
The home is like being in a modern cave when you enter it. The ceiling’s ripples are created by water from outside. This gives the plaster an illusion of movement.
The space is rounded, which feels both unusual and calm.
“It’s part of the fact your eye doesn’t have anything to focus on or against,” Evan explained. “It’s just a soft nature that you’re inside.”
Evan has added natural materials to the home using COR-TEN steel and lime to complement the natural shapes. From the outside, it would seem quite spacious.
The main feature of the living space is a comfy-looking couch.
“We wanted to better sit next to your loved one and watch TV, see the mountain, still see the fish in the pond, and not for it to be too high in the space. So I think it’s pretty good,” Evan said.
The Pumice’s opening windows are very low to the water. This helps to cool the place.
“If you open the windows at the bottom close to the water, the air is always cooler. So if we open our skylight or we have our fan going, it convects cool air in so the house naturally aspirates,” Evan said.
The lime render runs along the wall of the kitchen and into the sink and counter. It looks really cool. There’s also a beautiful breakfast bar for two running from the bench.
The bathroom looks amazing and was not built.
“It’s that luxury of not having defined edges,” Evan said. “We can just curve things, and you just have to have this ability to appreciate what it’s going to look like at the end because backwards from here, there’s a lot of work to get those curves to have the flow that appeals to your eye. There’s an art to that. There’s no doubt about it.”
Moreover, it has heated floors, one of Evan’s favorite features.
“We’ve run the heat up the back of the seat as well, so when you sit in the seat in the shower, the seat’s warm, which is a bit of a treat,” he added.
The bedroom is the most comfortable nook in the house, as it has no direct windows. One can really feel the “cave aesthetic” in this part of the home.
“I think it comes back to the fact that there is no definition between the wall and the roof,” Evan said.
“It’s all just encompassing in that curvy nature, so that sense of safety and security is definitely all-encompassing. And if the fire’s going and we pull the curtain, it is pretty luxurious.”
There’s a bioethanol fire in the bedroom with open flames against the plaster, giving the space a lovely natural glow. The fumes are so minimal that it’s completely safe even without a chimney.
Another clever idea is positioning the television on the back of the bed’s headboard, which they just wheel out when it needs to be used.
This house is a unique combination of modern features with natural materials. Take a look at this unique home in the video below.
You can see more amazing tiny home tours at Living Big in a Tiny Home’s YouTube channel and website.
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