Kaid Benfield Archive


Downsizing the footprint with Tiny Texas Houses

Kaid Benfield

Posted May 6, 2009 at 1:28PM

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  (all images from tinytexashouses.com)  (all images from tinytexashouses.com)

On the Tiny Texas Houses website, Brad Kittel states his fascinating architectural philosophy much better than I can:

"My goal is to show people what can be done with a concept I call Salvage Building, thus what you see is 99% Pure Salvage. That means that everything from the doors, floors, windows, lumber, porch posts, glass, and even the siding has been saved and used to create houses that we hope will last for at least another century. I believe that there are presently enough building materials sitting on the ground to build much of the next generation of housing. All it takes to make it so is pure human energy, spirit, and the desire to build something that will last for several lifetimes.

"I also believe we don't need as much space as we have become accustomed to in this country. Therefore I have created Tiny Texas Houses to demonstrate just how great it can be to downsize our carbon footprint, simplify our lives, and live in a house with a soul that will be energy efficient as well as beautiful."

      (all images from tinytexashouses.com)  (all images from tinytexashouses.com)

These creations have some spiritual cousins in the Third Street Cottages on Whidbey Island, Houston's Project Row Houses, LA's Watts House Project, and the cottages built to house people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.  While they are certainly not for everyone, that may not be the point. The images of Kittel's houses are exceptionally provocative, given the excesses of our society.

      (all images from tinytexashouses.com)  (all images from tinytexashouses.com)

I am certainly not the only one who has noticed: the Tiny Texas Houses have garnered a ton of press.  All the images you see here are from the website, and there's also a video: