WRITER: Nadia Michel
Solar and wind powered, EcoCapsule is a cosy abode that lets you live off the grid with an almost zero-carbon footprint.
Small enough to be shipped anywhere in the world, Nice Architects’ EcoCapsule is a novel 90,000 USD portable home that became available for pre-order on the architects’ website earlier this year.
Though it measures just 8.2 in terms of square meterage, EcoCapsule accommodates two people and feels surprisingly spacious thanks to a generous ceiling height of 2.55 metres plus a maximisation of space that takes cues from boat design, with a small kitchen area, a fold out bed and a workspace that doubles as a dining area. It’s the green factor however, that really makes this capsule unique.
Producing all its own energy through high-efficiency rooftop solar panels in addition to a retractable wind turbine feeding a large battery bank, the designers claim that at full charge the batteries will keep you powered up for at least four days. Most importantly, EcoCapsule has no need for pre-existing infrastructure of any kind, as solid waste is burnt by excess energy and there are two 350-litre fresh water storage tanks, which are supplemented by a rainwater collection system with built in filters that make natural precipitation completely safe for human consumption. “This is a totally sustainable way of life and we believe it is the future,” says Tomas Zacek, one of the two main architects on the project.
What started as a niche project has quickly grown and garnered masses of media attention, prompting Nice Architects to revise their model, making EcoCapsule available to everyone. Indeed, they plan to make 50 a year and are already promising a rapid drop in price as the cost of innovative technologies come down.
They’re also already accepting bulk orders given that their product might well appeal to military contractors. Of course, the possibilities this tiny home proposes are endless – from a remote portacabin in the woods to a temporary beach cabana that can be transported by helicopter from a private yacht onto a remote island to allow for the ultimate out-of-the-way beach escape. There are also plans to adapt the egg-shaped home so it can be used on water or even on Mars. “Freedom outside of civilisation,” is how the Slovak architect puts it.