Projekt Datscha is a minimalist tiny house handmade with a love of the outdoors in mind. The home was designed by Anna Busch and co-architect Monika Binkowska. In 2019, Busch and her partner, Jakob, took time off work to build their tiny home with some help from family and friends. Projekt Datscha now sits perched near the shore of Packer Lake in Austria; it is their vacation home and will soon be available to rent (beginning spring 2021).
In order to meet the criteria for mobility, the team gave special attention to the weight and size of each material selection. The primary material is locally sourced wood. Busch told Inhabitat, “It requires significantly less energy to produce and transport than the typical building materials such as steel.” Plus, it met the needs for strength and temperature control, and any off-cuts were able to be reused as firewood.
For insulation, Busch admitted that the materials are not sustainably sourced, but they did focus on energy efficiency within the space. The PIR-insulation and glass-wool allows the tiny house to easily keep warm in the winter and remain cool in the summer. Infrared floor heating recycles heated air and is programmable for use when desired. A ceiling window allows natural light during the day and stargazing at night.
To continue with the theme of energy efficiency, all appliances and even the light bulbs within the home have the highest energy ratings. Minimalists at heart, the couple doesn’t use other incredibly energy-consuming appliances like blenders, hair dryers or electric kettles. Instead, they stick with the basics of outdoor grilling and simple foods, such as the complimentary muesli and coffee they provide guests. But this doesn’t mean the kitchen is bare. It’s actually fully equipped and relies on an alcohol-burning stove for cooking.
Projekt Datscha saves water with a composting toilet, and the designers packed comfort and functionality into the tiny space with a bathtub and a water boiler in the bathroom.
The home’s location allows Busch and Jakob, as well as guests, to explore the lake or go for a hike in the surrounding forest full of mushrooms, berries and wildlife. The project has been such a great experience for the couple that they are already working on Datscha 2.0, to which Busch said, “We are currently designing a next version of the house that can fully operate off-grid thanks to the solar energy.”
Photography by Magda Tracz via Projekt Datscha