A student of architecture at the University of Minnesota, Hank Butitta, didn’t want to design something that will never be realized. Instead of creating virtual concepts, he converted an old bus into a mobile dwelling.
He wanted to experience the impact of his work in real life, he wanted to test the invented solutions in practice. And that is how he approached the subject in his thesis. Along with his brother and friends, he decided to turn a ruinous school bus into a house on wheels – the one, which can be seen in American films.
Learning through play
The bus cost 3,000 USD. The conversion consumed twice the amount. Butitta notes, however, that it still costs less than a semester of study at an American university. And yet the design linked with building is in fact the most practical education. The more, if you spend a lot of time in a place you’re building. That's what happens in this case. Butitta has already covered 5,000 miles (8,000 km) in his bus, visiting both the cities and national parks on a large area of the United States.
Bus can accommodate six people, although I'm sure that in Europe, a similar vehicle would be offered as a 12-bedded. There’s really a lot of space inside. No wonder. It’s not just an average bus, but a powerful vehicle with an area of 225 square feet, or approximately 68 m2. As for Europe, it's a pretty decent apartment.
What distinguishes a "bus home" from an ordinary house is a large amount of light - the windows are located here on every side. After the intervention of the architect there’re even more of them, because the emergency hatches located in the roof have been converted into windows. Without any problems, you can go through the roof, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
All the furniture in this bus are located below the bottom edge of the window. Thanks to this the worktop, backrests and other furniture are located on one line and no elements cover the view of the entire bus. No matter where we’re sitting, we can see everything that’s going on in the vehicle.
The student and his friends alone made all the furniture and many additional items. The ceiling was covered with a smooth surface made of the bent plywood. All wooden parts are in one color.
An interesting solution is the use of identical, raised from the bottom to top, white shutters in all side windows. They are fixed with magnets. At night the light is provided by LED strips with adjustable light intensity, installed in a place, where the ceiling joins the wall.
The kitchen has a very large worktop, with a sink mounted inside. Under the worktop are containers for clean and dirty water as well as a trash can. In the future they want to install other devices - for example, a refrigerator and a gas stove.
Sofas in the rear of the vehicle can be converted into a huge bed with a few simple moves. Beds are also available in front of the vehicle – there are two single or one double available. At the same time they also constitute a smart storage space, which can fit in more things than a home closet.
Students plan to make the bathroom in the rear of the bus. At the moment there’s only a portable toilet, but ultimately the room is going to be considerably developed.
Well, not everything could be done in just 15 weeks of the project.
The photos come from a blog run by the young architect: