Tricycle House: A Pedal-Powered, Off-Grid RV

After a long day, fantasies about riding off into the sunset are hard to squash. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just leave it all behind for a life of simplicity on the back of a bike? Everything would be awesome until fatigue and the need for a shower set in. If you happened to be riding a Tricycle House, however, satisfying those needs would as simple as pulling over to the side of the road.

Created by Chinese architectural firm People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) for the 2012 “Get It Louder” Exhibition in Beijing, Tricycle House is a pedal-powered RV that explores the temporary relationship between people and the land they occupy. Land ownership is prohibited in China, so everyone’s a nomad. Tricycle House takes this tether-less existence to the next level.

Tricycle House

Images via PIDO

“Each piece of the house is cut with a CNC router, scored, folded and welded into shape, explains the design team. “The plastic, polypropylene, can be folded without losing its strength. Therefore the house can open up to the outside, expand like an accordion for more space, and connect to other houses. The plastic is translucent allowing the interior to be lit by the sun during the day or street lamps at night. ”

Inside the tiny snail shell-like enclosure exists a surprisingly comfortable scene: there’s a sink and stove, a bathtub, a water tank, and furniture that can transform from a bed to a dining table and bench to a bench and counter top. The sink, stove, and bathtub can collapse into the front wall of the house when not needed (exactly how the stove and bath would work isn’t explained by the designers). It may seem claustrophobic, but the natural light and autonomy seem like heaven compared to the coffin-sized apartments now becoming popular in crowded Asian cities.

According to Gizmag, there are currently no plans to bring the House Tricycle to market, but the prototype is demonstrated in the video below.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog