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Woodworking studio madeiguincho realizes off-grid ‘ursa,’ the tiny house on wheels
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As part of its TOW (tiny on wheels) series, madeiguincho realizes its mobile ‘ursa’ cabin. Taking cues from typical trailer homes, the portugal-based woodworking studio designs and builds three prototypes, each of different lengths. Over 8-feet wide and 13-feet high, each of the three types measures either 13 feet, 16 feet, or 23 feet in length. Overall, the team seeks to rethink the typical way of living in contemporary society, envisioning a new type of dwelling that is mobile, clean, and beautiful.

The team of architects and woodworkers at madeiguincho designs its ‘ursa’ TOW to perform entirely off-grid. The first strategy employed is rainwater collection, accomplished with a simple 5% roof slope. Rainwater is channeled through a particle filter and into two large water tanks, capable of storing a total of 650 liters of water. A pressurized system then pumps this water to supply three plumbing fixtures in the cabin: kitchen and bathroom sinks and a shower. A three-stage reverse osmosis filter installed underneath the sink provides drinking water — following use, all water is stored in a tank and later reused for watering plants. 

Madeiguincho organizes its ursa TOW with all the residential needs of the client — the tiny dwelling houses two sleeping areas for two people each, a work station, a kitchen area, a full bathroom, and an outdoor deck. These areas are perfectly laid out to make the most efficient use of space, all based on the concepts of ‘small is beautiful’ and ‘passive house design.’ In the kitchen area, the water pump, water heater, refrigerator, and glass-ceramic cooktop are all powered by five solar panels installed on the south-facing roof, which can be adjusted up to a 30% inclination to maximize energy production throughout the year. The energy produced is converted and stored for later use. To close the off-grid cycle, the team installs an electric dry toilet which produces compost.

Project info

Project title: Ursa T.O.W. (tiny house on wheels)

Architecture: madeiguincho

Photographs: Junior Carranca

Location: Portugal

Credits: [source]

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