Off-Grid, Sustainable Housing That Doubles As Art

We’ve seen some unique solutions for temporary shelter. There’s the SPACE sustainable living space/office/mobile solar generator structure , built around the ubiquitous shipping container, the 20-foot-long box (on wheels) known as the Leaf House — and even the modular, oh-so-tiny WeeHouse, which might just compel you to take up super-small living full time. But this little number may just be the first such structure we’ve seen that doubles as a form of art.

Shaped somewhat like a big red egg, “Shelter ByGG” (which comes to us via Arcspace) tests the boundaries between traditional ideas of both art and habitat. The title of the piece appears to be a play on words, as this small shelter, design by Gabriela Gomes (“GG”) was clearly intended to embody some rather large ideas. Combining sculpture, design and architecture, “Shelter byGG” makes imaginative use of non-polluting and recycled materials such as renewable cork. It also rocks solar power to run its efficient little LED lights.

Shelter ByGG

image via João Morgado/Arcspace

A composting toilet takes care of the dirty work here, while unique, circular windows arranged in a kind of bubble pattern let the light shine in.

This “itinerant object,” as Gomes terms it, can easily be transported to wherever shelter is needed, be it in the heart of the city or the outskirts of civilization. Functioning off the grid means it has no need for city infrastructure in order to provide a human or two with the basics of shelter and electricity — and its eye-catching design means that it brings a bit of art to any environment it inhabits.

Shelter ByGG

image via Gabriela Gomes/Arcspace

“Shelter ByGG” has currently taken up residence in Guimarães, Portugal.

(Interested in other green building ideas from Portugal? Check out the new, smart city slated for Porto.)

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.