Portland’s 359 skinny house follows the sun like a sunflower

Ben Kaiser’s 359 house can be rotated by just one person- or two kids- pushing a bar and walking around it. It’s what he calls the logical union of the small house and energy consciousness. At just 12 foot square, or 144 square feet, his rotating house can follow the sun for warmth, and on cloudy or particularly cold days, it can be heated with just a 110 Volt heater.

359 falls short of full 360 degree rotation in order to avoid tangling electrical and water lines. The Portland house is fully plumbed and wired, but Kaiser sees the home’s ideal state as off-grid: “All you need is a garden hose hook-up and the house is ready to go,” he writes. The off-grid version would cost about $90,000, but that could even come down if these were produced.

“But 12 by 12 the whole idea, you can actually put a crane on this so it’s all built to actually be picked up and moved. So 12 feet is the maximum of shipping, trucking in the so this would fit and not be over cost for trucking across the country.”

While the current home cost is permanently hooked up in Portland- the owners use it as a guest house and a nightly rental (the windows can be turned away from their main home when rented)- Kaiser sees the 359 as an ideal solution to city’s homeless problems.

“The original idea was that these were made in a warehouse and I think it would be fantastic to make 30 of them and put them in a field on city-owned and have very affordable affordable housing. When you do a pre-manufactured thing you could just order 100 of them, 20 of them, and the cost is always just fixed and they’re built inside so all you’ve got to do is do the sewer hookups and drop the pre-permitted things on the site, so I think you could do it way less than a new every time.”

Kaiser’s prescriptive for a field of 359s? ““If the sun is too hot, turn 359’s back to it. If the sun is desired, let the light shine in.”

PATH Architecture: http://www.architecturepath.com/

20 Comments

  1. I really love your channel. I have always been interested in compact living. I lived in 31 square meters myself for around 4 years, and later in 31 sqm for 4 years with my spouse in a full equipped apartment (full kitchen with separate fridge, freezer, washing machine, full oven, hob, microwave oven, bathroom with washing/drying machine, etc, separate bedroom). Even now we’re living in a bigger space, 70 sqm, I still dream to go downsize again in the future and I am always looking for good design ideas for small spaces. Your channel is really an inspiration for me. Keep it going!

  2. You know as a living space, not so much for me but as a tall urban green house. its a great idea. You can just have it slowly rotate so that the plant life inside would get some sunlight because it addresses the multiple floors that cant get direct sunlight.

  3. This reminds me of a huge rotating dance floor in Orlando, Florida in a night club called Mannequins Dance Palace in Disney’s Pleasure Island but unfortunately they closed it down and built more restaurants and shops : ( There is only a few dance clubs in the whole nation that has a rotating dance floor which is a fun experience while dancing and I sure miss that club. There is several YouTube videos that people took while dancing on the rotating floor. The rotating tiny house is very unique and a ingenious idea : ) Thank you Kirsten for filming.

  4. So how much did this ‘architect’s folly’ cost? That staircase qualifies as a ‘ship’s stair’ and those things are a royal pain in the ass to use.

  5. ive been thinking that same rotating house since 2010 i tried searching gear using tank turret lol it seems he also consider a problem like the plumbing! haha thanks for this i can now stop thinking about it

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