low impact building, matt garcia design, green architecture texas, llano river tiny homes, small houses texas, communal living texas,

Four families purchased an idyllic plot on the Llano river with a rough idea to build a house to share. Inspired by the tiny house movement, they chose instead to build individual cabins for each couple plus a shared common building. The communal space has room for cooking, dining and group activities, plus enough room to accommodate guests. Designer Matt Garcia helped the group build basic but comfortable, low environmental impact homes. Each house reached completion within the $40,000 budget.

Related: Australian man builds tiny solar-powered retreat using almost 100 percent recycled materials

Simple but effective features mitigate the harsh Texan climate. Galvanized metal cladding reflects the baking hot sun. Spray foam insulation keeps the cabins cool in summer and cozy in winter and the roofs are sloped to collect precious rainwater, with water directed to large cisterns adjacent to each cabin.

Each 35-square-meter (350-square-foot) cabin was customized to meet its owner’s wishes. All have an open plan studio layout with naturally-lit living room areas providing a comfortable place to contemplate the river view. The bedroom area is sheltered towards the back of the studio space and behind this lies a fully equipped bathroom.

Related: DC’s First Tiny House Village Boneyard Studios Offers Up a Slice of Urban Paradise

Polished concrete floors and fir plywood walls double as structural components and attractive finishings. The black shelves in the bedroom were fabricated from plate steel stock and bolted to the wall studs, and plywood is supported by threaded steel rod in the bathroom. Towel rails, hooks and the toilet paper holder are made from repurposed pipe fittings. These tiny homes employ every detail to enrich the character and enhance the usefulness of the space. After a stay in this Llano community, we can imagine many guests from nearby cities will be now looking for a spot for their own Garcia cabin.

+ Matt Garcia Design

Via Small House Bliss

Images via Alex Stross