Life HacksTiny House

Revolutionary collapsible tiny home for limited spaces

Iwi - Archs Juan Ruiz and Amelia Tapia, Ecuador

Archs Juan Ruiz and Amelia Tapia have come up with an innovative solution for tiny living with their creation, the Iwi. This unique structure is designed to be collapsible and can be easily stowed away when not in use, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space who need a home office or guest accommodation.

The Iwi presents an intriguing solution for individuals seeking versatile and compact living spaces. It combines functionality, flexibility, and portability, making it a viable option for various purposes. Whether used as a home office, studio, or guest accommodation, the Iwi offers a convenient and efficient way to maximize space utilization.

The Iwi is constructed using a combination of cypress and plywood, with glass double doors that provide a connection to the outside. It also features insulation made from cork and sheep’s wool.
When fully extended, the Iwi measures 8.5 square meters (approximately 91 square feet), but it can be folded down to just 2.4 square meters (nearly 26 square feet). Alternatively, it can be set halfway if the owner prefers. The upper frame is equipped with wheels, making it effortless to close.

One of the key advantages of the Iwi is its collapsible design. This feature allows it to be easily stored away when not in use, reducing the amount of space it occupies. This is particularly beneficial for individuals living in small apartments or houses with limited square footage. The ability to transform a living space into a functional office or guest room, and then revert it back to its compact form, offers a level of adaptability that is highly desirable in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world.

Additionally, the Iwi’s use of sustainable materials, such as cypress, plywood, cork, and sheep’s wool, demonstrates a commitment to eco-friendly practices. These materials not only provide insulation and weather resistance but also contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the structure. The incorporation of glass double doors and the option to connect with the outdoors further enhance the sense of openness and connection to nature.

According to Ruiz and Tapia, “The space can be extended or compressed, depending on the needs of the user. When compressed, it behaves like a piece of furniture or a shelf. When extended, it becomes a living space that contains everything necessary to fulfil its different functions, such as office/studio, yoga studio, relaxation space, workshop, meeting room, guest room, etc. It allows flexibility of use both inside and the use of outdoor space (by compressing it), being respectful of its surroundings.”

The development of the first Iwi prototype took one year, with manufacturing completed in just one month. Going forward, the team believes that the structure can be manufactured in two weeks and assembled in two days. The prototype model showcased is installed on a rooftop terrace in Quito and is currently set up as a two-person office. It includes a desk area, two chairs, space for a printer, drawers, a shelf, and a small kitchenette with a concealed sink. The Iwi also has electrical and water hookups, but the design team assures that an off-the-grid setup is also possible.

Regarding its durability, the company states that the Iwi is currently suitable for mild weather conditions, such as those in Quito, Ecuador, with temperature variations ranging between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. The envelope of the structure is weather-resistant, providing protection against rain, wind, and sun. The team is also working on an Iwi model suitable for extreme weather conditions and plans to launch it later this year. This limitation may restrict its usability in regions with harsh climates, where additional insulation or structural modifications would be necessary.

The Iwi’s affordability makes it an attractive option for a wide range of individuals. With a starting price of $7,950, it offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional office or guest room setups. This affordability, combined with its compact size and versatility, makes the Iwi a compelling choice for those seeking practicality without compromising on style or functionality. However, information regarding shipping availability and costs is not currently available.

The Iwi’s compact size may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals who require more spacious living or working areas may find the limited square footage restrictive. While the Iwi offers the option to extend its size to 8.5 square meters, it may not meet the needs of those who require larger spaces for specific purposes, such as art studios or workshops.

Additionally, the Iwi’s collapsible design raises questions about the durability and longevity of the structure. Frequent folding and unfolding may potentially lead to wear and tear, requiring regular maintenance or repairs. It is crucial for potential buyers to consider the long-term implications of this collapsible feature and assess whether it aligns with their specific needs and expectations.

Despite these considerations, the Iwi represents an exciting development in the realm of compact and portable living spaces. Its innovative design, use of sustainable materials, and affordability make it an appealing option for individuals seeking flexible and efficient solutions. As the company continues to refine and expand its product line, addressing limitations and incorporating customer feedback, the Iwi has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach small-scale living and space utilization.


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