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The Portal by The Tiny House Company in Australia

This is The Portal by The Tiny House Company in Australia.


The modular-style home is brimming with green — potted plants everywhere bringing the outdoors in! This house was nominated for the 2016 Tiny House of the Year and I’m not surprised. My favorite feature is the drop-down bed that hides near the ceiling during the day and comes down for bed time — genius!

Related: Pre-Fab Multi-Use Smart-Modules by Casa-Cubo Brazil

The Portal by The Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Related: Sustainable and Modular Lake Flato Porch House

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia


The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

The Portal by Tiny House Company in Australia

Related: 592 Sq. Ft. Modular Tiny Home by Møn Huset

From the Builders:

‘PORTAL’ is our flagship design, featuring high-end detailing and fixtures, a modular demountable deck system, a custom-designed retractable bed and custom cabinetry between a grid of ‘portal’ frames.

This design has been featured in an array of online and print magazines, formed the basis of public lectures, radio and film interviews, and travelled up and down Southeast Queensland for open house events including Woodford Folk Festival.

Making the most out of our 18 square metres of floor area has relied on two key strategies and a whole lot of careful detail decisions.

SIGHT LINES, PATTERNS AND ASPECT

Continuous sight lines through the length and width of the house help to provide a spacious feel. Doors and windows are aligned to lead the eye the house and out to the surrounding garden and provide very effective cross-ventilation and stack ventilation (through the high louvres). With correct design, small spaces such as this can be passively heated and cooled in an instant.

With almost everything visible from the one living space, establishing clear patterns and aesthetic rhythms helps to organise the space – de-cluttered and ordered views tend to feel bigger. The central space and deck are all organised around a 900mm grid which dictates the placement of exposed LVL frames, kitchen cabinets, doors and windows.
The joists, posts and rafters of the deck line up with the grid of internal portal frames. Windows fit seamlessly between the portals and detailing is painstakingly carried throughout with the portal frames, window jambs, joists and deck posts all matching in width, location and proportion.

A raking ceiling, side main entry, deck positioning, and material selection are used to establish a clear direction to the space – opening out towards the deck area and high louvre windows and providing visual and spatial relief. Clean lines and white surfaces lead the eye past the North wall and towards the deck, contrasting the rich tones and busier detailing of the South wall.
CELEBRATING THE HIGH SPACE

Put simply, when width is limited it can help to accentuate the height. While some tiny houses place a generous loft space above a low-ceiling wet area, we opted for the extra head height in the bathroom and laundry – two spaces that we believe are used too frequently to skimp on.

Resources: 

Our big thanks to Lara for sharing.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.




{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Evie January 27, 2017, 3:51 pm

    This is spectacular! I love the open feel! Great design. I laughed seeing the coffee center in the bathroom! I had mine there for years. Do Australian homes generally have no screens, though? What about mosquitoes and other insects? How humid is the area, by the way? Do you worry about that? In Florida, I pretty much have to keep the house closed, air conditioned and dehumidified from May through October.

    • Jaz January 27, 2017, 8:15 pm

      The coffee centre isn’t in the bathroom, its on the bench under the ladder to the loft; opposite the oven/fridge 🙂

    • Andrew, from The Tiny House Company February 1, 2017, 4:41 am

      G’day Evie, thanks – we’re glad you like it. A few answers to your questions and comments – as Jaz has pointed out, the coffee machine is outside the bathroom in a mixed use zone with laundry and kitchen functions, separated from the bathroom by a cavity slider. Plenty of Australian houses do have fly screens, we prefer it without them and don’t have any real trouble with insects, though we get some inside. We prefer the more open feel of having no screens, but we’ve built an almost identical version of this for a client with screens on all the external windows and deck. Australia is home to many different climates though, so we can’t really generalise. Brisbane, where we live is sub-tropical. Often humid, often hot, so we had to maximise the ventilation. This is also why we chose not to sleep up in a high loft – in our climate it’s often too hot up that high. Many (perhaps most?) Australians run air conditioning throughout the summer. Our place is passively cooled which is working our well for us so far. Cheers.

  • Gabriella January 27, 2017, 5:13 pm

    Perfect is Wonderful in all its Parts.

  • Peggy January 27, 2017, 6:27 pm

    This is simply wonderful. Great visual appeal and exquisite detail work. But I think it is the McMoney of Tiny Homes. Thats not a bad thing. Its the same as what people dream of when they look at the rooms inside those multi-million dollar homes. Who can afford it?
    Last time I checked, Resource Furniture in NY sold the bed for $25,000… and you still have to climb over your sleeping mate to get out.
    Huge kitchen for <200 sq ft, but no place to sit and eat, unless you both eat all your meals standing, or off your lap. Since you need electric to operate the bed, it might have been better to have an induction cook top.
    Deck is beautiful, but the cost of that, its covering roof, and customized deck shutters would be astronomical. So where do you put the comfy sofa when it rains?
    Where are the practical items.. book shelves, computer area, food storage. Not a loft which you move around in on your belly…
    This is the Tiny Home for dreamers. We all like to dream. Show us the ideas, inside the drawers, cupboards and lavatory which we can actually implement in our own spaces. Show us how you will water the plants without a ladder…. (or where you store the ladder). Show us how your "dream" can become reality living for the rest of us.
    Otherwise, I complement you on awaking the dream in all of us, and those who use a wheel barrel to carry their money in.

    • Andrew, from The Tiny House Company February 1, 2017, 6:23 am

      Hi Peggy, just a few things to clarify:
      – There’s a fold-out table built into the white cabinetry which we use for a study desk and dining table.
      – We opted for gas cooking because it significantly reduces the required size of a solar setup, and because we love cooking on gas. 🙂 The bed draws very little power, and we’re using gas hot water as well.
      – The sofa on the deck is pretty hardy and we pull it in from the edge of the deck when raining. Ideally we’d like the deck roof to overhang on all sides but it’s all a trade-off when designing a deck that is to be easily dismantled.
      – Regarding the livability of the house, my partner and I are currently living in it in an inner-city suburb with our daughter. You may find this video interesting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xIKIXS70tE . It’s an honest view of what it looks like when it’s messy (with a newborn) and when it’s cleaned.
      – Of course, I don’t expect this design to suit everyone’s needs and it was deliberately designed as a high end model to demonstrate the idea of tiny house living in an emerging Australian market (we’re way behind you all in the US and struggle with very very high building costs). As another person here has said, we’ve also designed a more affordable model. Still very expensive by US standards at $79,000 AUD but it simply costs us far more to build over here.

      On a final note, before you convince yourself entirely that this is another one of those ‘us and them’ situations, I’d like to point out that my partner and I are both low earners. Believe me, we can empathise. It’s not only about affordability for us though. We are also deeply concerned about the environmental impact of our lifestyles here in Australia and are interested in how tiny houses might demonstrate that the average Australian doesn’t need 240 square metres of house. By designing a tiny house with a high end finish and some of the comforts of a standard house we hoped to make tiny houses more accessible to the general public.

      • Peggy February 2, 2017, 5:43 pm

        Thank you for your response. It certainly gave me a different perspective. There is no doubt you have incorporated some good ideas. Appreciate your insight into the design and that your home is actually livable. All the best with your endeavour.

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN January 27, 2017, 7:47 pm

    I don’t even want to speculate as to it’s price…! But I will admit it is a beautiful House nonetheless…!

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN January 27, 2017, 7:49 pm

    OH…! And the coffee center in the bathroom gives a whole new meaning to, coffee to go…!

    • Michael L January 28, 2017, 6:30 pm

      Funny thought but if you look closely the coffee bar/washing machine unit is on the opposite side of the kitchen from the frig. I’m just wondering what the cost is of this unit. It’s one of the nicer ones I’ve seen.

      • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN January 28, 2017, 7:50 pm

        I don’t know where you see that, and I have studied the photo’s several times, I must be getting blind as well as hardheaded… LoL….! But as to the cost, I would think it would be quit a bit high, as you know how drastically high in pricing tiny houses have now become…

        • Emily January 30, 2017, 1:15 am

          Michael L you are correct! the coffee machine is on the bench at the end of the kitchen, opposite the fridge (and behind where the ladder goes up to the storage loft). As this awesome young company is located close to me I’ve been lucky enough to tour this model tiny home at an open day. And you are also right Zachary, this model is very high end in price – retails at $120K Aussie dollars! But they recently released more affordable pod options – check out http://www.tinyhousecompany.com.au/

        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee January 30, 2017, 7:10 am

          Thanks so much for that Emily! I was wondering about the coffee machine 🙂

        • oxide January 30, 2017, 4:03 pm

          Things will be a lot clearer if you look at the Pods website: http://www.tinyhousecompany.com.au/pods-abcd/ which shows floor plans. There is a “room” pod (Aus$60K), which is an empty room, and a “services” pod (Aus$54K), which is the kitchen/bath unit. The bath is just a toilet and shower. The bathroom sink and W/D are actually *outside* the bathroom. So you can put your coffee station on the W/D without being in the bath.

          The main part of the Portal House is one service pod and one room pod put together, and costs Aus$79K. The actual Portal house has all those extras, the porch and the lifty bed which brings the cost to Aus$120K+.

        • Kay February 15, 2017, 11:21 pm

          $AUS120 is a huge amount of money.
          But in New Zealand, to purchase a basic starter home in a NZ city would be $NZ500-$600,000, so spending this amount is a bargain.

        • Eric May 20, 2017, 12:07 am

          But Kay, come on, that price you quote includes the price of a pokey section running about about (depending on the city) typically between $230k and $450k. We Kiwis get ripped off worse that the Ozzies.

  • Danielle DiLisio January 27, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Beautiful! But, there are to many critters crawling around Australia that want to kill you – I would need screens for the windows, lol.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee January 30, 2017, 7:38 am

      Hahaha 🙂 It sure does seem like they have too many deathly things out there!

  • Cosy January 27, 2017, 8:09 pm

    I love everything about this. They did a great job of using every inch of space. I love the storage and I do agree with the others, I would need some screens but that’s not a big deal. Wish they were building here in the US.

  • Patricia Chang January 28, 2017, 3:18 am

    Lovely house and beautiful décor. Plantings are marvelous. Very nice.

  • Susanne January 28, 2017, 9:24 am

    Amazing! How many sq ft is that? Also how is the weight of the bed supported?

  • Mary February 2, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Gorgeous house with so many wonderful design ideas!

  • Carla February 3, 2017, 6:29 am

    I thought it was very nice, but again it’s the expense with high end costs that make this special…..and reality is if we want to spend that kind of $ we could all do this but most of us want something that is around that $50000 to reduce the high end costs. Just a note: the drop down bed is not unique as they have been doing this in high end rvs for a long time.

  • ROSEE February 5, 2017, 6:42 am

    Very nicely done. A bit of modern with some old style as well. Very nice. Two thumbs up!

  • Suzanne May 18, 2017, 7:31 pm

    I live in Brisbane and personally I couldn’t live without door and window screens. There’s nothing more upsetting than finding a python wandering around in the hallway and the buzz of mosquitoes buzzing in your ear while trying to sleep is off putting, besides the risk of contracting a mosquito born disease. All sounds dramatic doesn’t it but it’s happened to my daughter who lives in a rental without door screens.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 19, 2017, 3:49 pm

      Yikes!!! I live in New England (no pythons) and I still want screens. Mosquitoes are no fun.

      • Eric May 20, 2017, 12:14 am

        Yeah, but I hear in the States you have plenty of snakes of the 2 legged variety. Used Car salespeople. Politicians. Aluminum siding salesmen… etc. LOL

        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 22, 2017, 4:04 pm

          Hehe 🙂

  • Marsha Cowan May 18, 2017, 11:31 pm

    It’s gorgeous! I love the way the shelves melt into the ceiling beams, and the coffee/sink/washer area is a great idea! Who would have thought of hiding all that closet space behind the sofa? What a beautiful place!

  • Michael L May 19, 2017, 1:49 am

    Every time I see this home I think, damn that’s THE one! I love this place.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 19, 2017, 3:46 pm

      I’m so glad 🙂 It’s good to find a favorite!

  • wenD September 2, 2017, 10:14 am

    Hooray, a tiny house company in Oz : )
    Where is the ‘contact us?’
    I’m glad I found you via Pinterest. I built a tiny cottage for my mum 12 years ago. She never got to live in it but now I want to, but my 20 year old son needs a space when he visits. I have been considering a mezzanine but although have cathedral ceilings there is not huge space between top of french doors and the beams (about 5 ft in centre) so was delighted to see your “custom-designed retractable bed” can you please send me more details about this?
    Thanks
    wenD
    looking forward to receiving your newsletters

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