Architecture student at the University of Minnesota, Hank Butitta, did not want to design something that would never be realized. Instead of creating virtual concepts, he turned an old bus into a mobile apartment.
He wanted to experience the impact of his work on life, to test the invented solutions in everyday practice. This is also how he approached the subject of his diploma thesis. He and his brother and friends decided to turn a ramshackle school bus into a house on wheels - the kind we've seen in American movies.
Learning through play
The bus cost 3,000. dollars . The modifications made in it cost twice as much. Butitta notes that it still costs less than a semester at an American university. And yet designing combined with building is the most practical education. Especially if you spend a lot of time in the building site. This is what is happening in this case. Butitta has already traveled 5,000 with his bus. miles (8,000 km) , visiting both cities and national parks over a large area of the United States.
The bus can accommodate six people , although I am sure that in Europe a similar vehicle would be offered for a 12-seater. There is really a lot of space in it. Nothing unusual. This is not a "little bus", but a powerful vehicle with an area of 225 square feet, or approx. 68 m2 . In our conditions, it is already quite a decent apartment.
What distinguishes a "house bus" from an ordinary house is the large amount of light - after all, there are windows on all sides. After the architect's intervention, there are even more of them, because also the emergency hatches in the roof have been converted into windows. You can easily go to the roof through them, and admire the beautiful surroundings like from the terrace.
All the furniture on this bus is placed below the bottom edge of the window. Thanks to this, the kitchen worktop, sofa backs and other furniture are on one line and no elements obstruct the view of the entire bus. No matter where we are currently sitting, we can see everything that is happening inside the vehicle .
The student and his friends made all the furniture and many additional elements by themselves. The ceiling is covered with a smooth surface made of bent plywood. All wooden elements are the same color.
An interesting solution is the use of identical, raised from the bottom to the top, white roller blinds in all side windows . They are held in place by magnets. At night, light is provided by LED strips with adjustable light intensity, installed in the place where the ceiling meets the wall.
The kitchen has a very large worktop with a built-in sink. Under the top, there are clean and dirty water tanks and a garbage can. In the future, other devices are also to be installed, such as a refrigerator and a gas stove.
The couches in the rear of the vehicle can be transformed into a huge bed with just a few simple steps. Beds are also available at the front of the vehicle - they can be single or combined. At the same time, they are also ingenious storage compartments that can fit more things than many home wardrobes.
The bathroom with shower is to be at the rear of the bus. For now, there is only a portable toilet, but ultimately the room is to be significantly expanded.
Well, not everything was done in just 15 weeks of the project .
The photos come from a blog run by a young architect: www.hankboughtabus.com .
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