26 Small Environments
Above e location of the retreat at 80
meters (262.5 feet) above sea level allows for
dramatic views over the  ord. Openings cut
in the lakeside platform preserve the site’s
trees, including a mossy tree stump whose
poetic form may be contemplated from
inside the cabin.  is outdoor room serves as
a perch from which to take in the nuances of
the changing weather and landscape.
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External/Internal Transitions
Above e unadorned, curving form of the
interior wraps around the inhabitant and
directs the eye back toward the exterior.
In the interest of creating an aff ordable
and minimal structure, utilities are absent;
accordingly, the cabin relies solely upon
daylight and candlelight. Because the high-
latitude location provides about twenty hours
of sunlight during the summer months when
the cabin is occupied, electricity is not a
necessity. Ultimately, the experience of being
in the space comes close to the experience of
being outside of it.
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28 Small Environments
Andrea Zittel, A-Z Homestead Unit,
Joshua Tree, California (also no fi xed site)
Located at the artist’s studio complex in
Joshua Tree, California, the tiny dwelling
references the Baby Homestead Act of 1938,
which granted fi ve-acre homesteads to set-
tlers who would populate this desert region.
As was typical in historical homestead
grants, the government required homestead-
ers to place a rudimentary house on the
undeveloped land. A spare rectangular cabin
with a corrugated metal roof, the Homestead
Unit expresses the territorial relationship of a
home to its site while evoking the temporal-
ity of these frontier structures. In addition, it
conveys the optimism of the mobile dwelling,
which is ready to be dropped into any loca-
tion, instantly defi ning place. Its diminutive
dimensions free the portable module from
the regulations and requirements of a larger,
rooted building.
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External/Internal Transitions
Above e Homestead Unit may be located
indoors as well: Actual applications include
the use of the structure as a separate study
inside a private home.  e dwelling includes
three surfaces of varying heights that corre-
spond to sleeping, eating, and working zones.
e artist customizes exterior and interior
nishes to the individual’s requirements.
Here, the Homestead Unit rests among
Zittel’s Raugh foam “furniture” pieces, which
constitute an artifi cial landscape.  ese
synthetic landforms assert a natural order in
the interior environment due to their adapt-
ability, unfi xed functionality, and expected
deterioration. Together, the two create a
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30 Small Environments
Studio Aisslinger, Loftcube, no fi xed site
e exterior walls of this 36-square-meter
(387.5-square-foot) rooftop unit can be
customized using louvered lamellae, clear,
tinted, or translucent glass elements, and
either solid or perforated materials that
provide various degrees of transparency and
connection to the cityscape.  e Loftcube
sits 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) off the roof s surface
and, beyond the initial transport and assem-
bly, requires little additional infrastructure:
utility connections from the host building
and perimeter guardrails for the roof.
Opposite Top is transportable rooftop
abode was designed with nomadic urban res-
idents in mind. With unrestricted access to
views and daylight, the rooftops of high-rise
buildings provide an abundance of potential
sites.  e architect envisions communities
of Loftcube dwellers populating the skyline
of major cities. In the evening, light leaking
from the base forms a trace of the building
on the rooftop.
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