Boulder, Colorado (Moved to Arkansas)
489 sq. ft. (not including patio area)
Michael Hughes (Assistant Professor of Architecture, Arkansas)
When it comes to small spaces, nothing conjures up images of design-impaired living like the words “mobile home.” Add to that a reputation for flimsy construction, and the bad rap seems well deserved.
Yet when architecture professor Michael Hughes talks about trailers and the traditional urban trailer park, he sees another picture: affordable, small-scale homes in a high-density neighborhood. “Mobile homes came into being as a low-cost housing solution, serving that niche in between an apartment or condo and a standard suburban home,” says Hughes. “Their typical design, however, has been fundamentally flawed, with structural and spatial issues.”
Hughes was given the chance to retool a trailer into his vision of a well-designed, budget-friendly residence when a defunct 1960s-era unit in Boulder’s Mapleton Mobile Home Park was donated to the design/build architecture program at the University of Colorado. (Hughes has since relocated to the University of Arkansas.) With a leaking roof, rotting wood and pitted metal siding, the two-bedroom, 489-square-foot unit had little left to salvage. Since local zoning codes required that dwellings within a mobile-home park must remain portable, the team kept the original steel chassis and sent the rest of the dilapidated structure to the scrap yard. Read More >>