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Laney College Students Build Award-Winning “Wedge”

This is “The Wedge” built by students at Laney College in Oakland, CA for the SMUD Net Zero Tiny House Competition.

The futuristic home won four awards in 2016, including best design — and I can see why. Their creative tilted back wall creates space for a second loft and comfortable living area. Gotta love something different!

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Laney College Students Build Award-Winning “Wedge”

Images via Laney College

Looks like “The Jetsons” to me!

I like the clear, unobstructed middle lane.

Teal steps are super fun 🙂 They added a railing.

The shelving is open, but nicely situated in one long line.

Cozy spot to curl up with a book.

Always good to see storage stairs.

Do you like induction cook tops?

Tons of pillows! I bet there’s storage under there.

Gotta love a colorful front door.

Well that’s fun and funky storage!

Nice amount of headroom here.

Spacious shower. I’d add a fun geometric print curtain.

How do you like the walls in this tiny house bathroom? Too industrial maybe?

Images via Laney College

Video: The Wedge Tiny House


  • Built for the 2016 SMUD Net Zero Tiny House Competition, The Wedge won the following prizes:
    Best Architecture
    Best Design
    Best Furniture
    Best Landscaping
  • Built on 20′ trailer
  • Complete solar and battery array with 12v electrical appliances including fridge, hot water heater and induction stove.
  • Full kitchen and bathroom with composting toilet (Nature’s Head)
  • Custom europly cabinetry and tansu staircase
  • Full bed and additional twin bed
  • Continuous exterior insulation and rainscreen
  • Paperstone countertops
  • Standing seam roofing
  • $55,000

For more specs, questions or to arrange a viewing, please contact lead faculty member Matthew Wolpe at [email protected].


Our big thanks to Matthew Wolpe for sharing!🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Sonja
    March 16, 2017, 11:30 am

    Wow, that has to be the best designed tiny space I’ve seen yet. Flashy and purposeful storage everywhere, and yet appears so spacious and uncluttered. Love the stairs and closet that extends over the first floor seating. Kitchen is big. Well done design and build team! I want one!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 20, 2017, 11:16 am

      Me too 🙂

  • Lisa
    March 16, 2017, 11:44 am

    Superb design throughout…. until the last picture, where they’ve got the toilet paper roll on BACKWARDS! Seriously, though really really good design and execution.

    • Chunin
      March 16, 2017, 12:48 pm

      Yeah. I hate that way to put a toilet paper roll too. It is something I fight with my wife all the time. It just does not make sense to put it any other way.

  • glenda hill
    March 16, 2017, 12:09 pm

    I am in need of help to build from a 24ft trailer frame on my property. I have been trying to find any one in my area that knows anything enough to help me. If you know of some students able and willing to make a project come alive this spring I’m ready, Hargerville ON, Canada

  • gmh
    March 16, 2017, 1:27 pm

    TP should always hang off the back of the roll. This gives the slightest amount of friction when tearing and helps when you are attempting the tear with one hand. Hanging it off the front of the roll makes you use two hands, or run the risk of major amounts of paper unrolling. They have it correct in the picture.

    • Alex
      March 16, 2017, 3:31 pm

      Never thought of it that way!

      • Paul Larsen
        March 19, 2017, 5:51 pm

        Seriously Folks, It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as its there when I need it. We used to put it in facing back so our old cat would not unravel it .

        • Natalie C. McKee
          March 20, 2017, 11:27 am

          I used to think that it didn’t bother me until the other day when I put it on facing the back and it drove me bonkers haha 🙂 To each his own on this one 🙂 And easy fix!

    • Chunin
      March 17, 2017, 5:39 pm

      I tested it with different kind of rolls like single or double ply and it makes no difference regarding friction if the roll face back or front. On the surface it seems to makes sense but once you test you see that there is no difference in a practical sense and does not make theoretical sense either as both positions are essentially symmetrical once you star to pull on the roll.

  • Sgmaps
    March 17, 2017, 2:11 am

    Very nice, inside and outside, but I would make 3 changes for myself. #1-add one more storage step, that last step up is double the normal riser #2-either make the loft from 6 – 12 ” deeper or add a guard rail of sorts to prevent one from the possibility of rolling off the bed since it appears to be only 6″ from the edge #3-I would have open shelves in the kitchen instead of those attractive prints on the wall, more storage while maintaining an open feeling.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 20, 2017, 10:51 am

      The reason for the tall step is so you don’t have to step, but rather you “sit and scooch” into the loft. It makes for less bending 🙂

    March 17, 2017, 10:59 am

    It’s so wonderful that young folks can built TH too. Wish more would do this then we won’t have all these teenage troubles to worry about!
    More power to those young people, keep up the good work!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 20, 2017, 10:42 am

      I love seeing young people doing this 🙂

  • Paul Larsen
    March 17, 2017, 10:42 pm

    I almost ignored this one , but it really grew on me once I started looking at the pictures! Nice simple design outside and feels very open on the inside. Looks like the design would lend itself to a main floor bed as opposed to a loft bed too. 12 volt appliances too! Is the induction cooktop 12v too . I would be interested to know. I think it would be safer than a propane stove in a smaller area. toilet paper roll placement? easy! Face to the front if no cats and to the back if you have a cat.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:11 pm

      I think you could put a bed that the tilted end instead of the loft (if you were to build it again) and have that downstairs room 🙂

      • Paul Larsen
        March 19, 2017, 5:53 pm

        That’s what i thought Natalie. a bed in the tilted end would go nice. I would keep the loft for storage.

  • Sharee100
    March 17, 2017, 11:06 pm

    I would add one more award…best price!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:10 pm

      There you go 🙂

    March 18, 2017, 6:23 pm

    This wedge is truly a slice of heaven with it’s design… But I think I would rather have a wedge of pie in it’s stead ….!

  • Sandi B
    March 20, 2017, 6:06 pm

    This is a unique build with a good design and use of space. Just a couple comments: 1.) I think the loft needs to be wider and have a railing of some sort to keep people and pets from toppling over if they roll over in bed.
    2.) I am not fond of open shelves in the kitchen, they are just not all that functional. The pictures add to the overall openness of the trailer, but take up valuable real estate – read storage space.
    3.) The use of the primary colors for the stools and stairs is fun. However, a person might become tired of that scheme. I would have liked to at least have seen the stairs done in a wood tone or more neutral tone.
    I think these students did an amazing job and congratulations are in order for the awards they won with this unit. The workmanship appears to be excellent and the overall functionality is great.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 21, 2017, 7:27 am

      All very good points! I am too cluttered for open shelves, as well. But yes, the students rocked it 🙂

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 9, 2018, 10:53 am

    This is a really sleek and beautiful tiny house. I love the way the open shelving is sandwiched between the upper and lower windows. All the finishes are cool, and the design is amazing. Well done, grasshoppers!!

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