Today, meet a tiny trailer-bound abode that stands out from the similarly compact pack.

Taku-Tanku is a conceptual “traveling little house” that ditches stick-built construction in favor of for two reclaimed 3,000-liter plastic water tanks — in impossible-to-miss yellow, naturally — joined together by a “wooden connection ring" that wraps around the middle of the structure. Measuring a mere 96-square-feet, this off-the-grid caravan is so light that it can easily be hitched to a car, bike or boat (it floats!).
Those with some serious upper arm strength and some time to kill can recruit a friend (or two) and opt to haul the dainty domicile by foot.
Lacking a bathroom, kitchen, plumbing, and other trappings found in more full-on mobile home arrangements, the easy-to-assemble Taku-Tanku — designed to “serve as companion and shelter but also as a sculpture that celebrates the vital role of water in our lives” — is a decidedly unfussy affair best enjoyed by those who require little more than a suitcase full of clothing, a comfortable place to rest their heads at night, and the company of good friends (read: it's not meant as a full-time residence).
On that note, although on the super-cozy side, the interior of Taku-Tanku is large enough to accommodate two to three slumbering nomads who would rather spend their days exploring the natural world, not cooped-up inside. A solar-powered fan prevents things from getting too stuffy while a separate luggage compartment located underneath the unit frees up available floor space for stretching out.
Taku Tanku

At night, solar-powered LEDs illuminate the boxy cabin-on-the-go while a trio of hatch skylights along with six small porthole windows fill it with natural light — and fresh air — during the daylight hours.

The creation of New York City-by-way-of-Venezuela-based architecture firm Stereotank (the studio has previously dabbled in the design of Little Free Libraries and “bicycle-powered sound machines") in partnership with Takahiro Fukuda, Taku-Tanku was designed for the Little House Competition in Saitama, Japan.

Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente of Stereotank are currently seeking funding for an effort to develop a Taku-Tanku prototype unit. Gizmag notes that such a prototype, built on the cheap using both reclaimed and off-the-shelf materials, would cost in the ballpark of $8,000 to $10,000. 

However cute, clever, and colorful, I do have doubts about Taku-Tanku evolving beyond a design prototype given its extremely limited habitability — it's difficult to classify it as a true tiny house (plus the whole plastic thing gives me pause). But as a one-off conversation piece promoting downsized living a la One-Sqm-House, the concept does have its merits.

Taku Tanku
Taku Tanku
Taku Tanku

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.