Little House, Big Bang: A45

The 180-square-foot structure's unique design serves as a prototype for minimalist, sustainable living.

Commissioned by prefabricated home development startup Klein and designed by Copenhagen-based designer BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, A45 is a futuristic take on the classic A-frame cabin. Built-in Hudson Valley, New York, A45 is a 180-square-foot tiny home designed for two people to venture off the grid and immerse themselves completely in nature.

The unique and innovative design grew out of the traditional A-frame cabin structure that features a distinctive pitched roof and angled walls. Bjarke Ingels Group amplified space by taking a square base and twisting the roof 45 degrees, effectively bringing the height of the home to a whopping 13 feet tall. This shifting of geometric shapes also resulted in more floor space and a fluid silhouette that takes the form of a cube or spire depending on upon the angle at which it is viewed.

A45 was assembled on-site and is made entirely of recyclable materials, including the timber frame that is covered in black outdoor canvas. The structure gently sits atop four small concrete piers that optimize support and simplify its ability to be placed in remote areas without the use of heavy machinery. The most eye-catching aspect of the cabin is a floor-to-ceiling triangular window made of seven glass pieces that unites A45 with its settings, giving its guests the ability to enjoy the outdoors from indoors.

The cabin’s interior is of minimalist design, influenced by Bjarke Ingels Group’s Nordic roots (the company is based in Copenhagen, Denmark). The exposed timber frame in solid pine, customized space-grade insulating natural cork walls and floor made of Douglas fir create a rugged, structured look but warm, comfortable feel. This is magnified by a signature wood-burning stove made by Danish brand Morso in one corner capable of heating the entire abode.

The rest of the interior is filled by a small kitchen alcove outfitted with a two-burner cooktop, sink, and all-wood cabinetry, countertop and backsplash, a living and dining area with hand-crafted table and daybed with a lofted space reachable by ladder perched above. The bathroom is made entirely of beautiful slatted cedar wood and features a drop-in sink and rainwater open shower.

A45 is powered entirely by solar panels and as designers refine the unit for reproduction, they are exploring new technologies in appliance and bathroom fixtures to make the cabin even more eco-friendly. Klein’s mission is to build tiny homes that are designed by world-class architects and other experts to ensure beautiful, functional and sustainable living spaces. A45 is the startup’s first model for owners to purchase, customize and have built in a four- to six-month timeframe. The home’s modest dimensions and chic, environmentally conscious design align well with current industry trends and will undoubtedly make waves as the tiny home movement continues to take shape.