This ‘Invisible’ Tiny House Blends Into Its Surroundings

published Mar 10, 2018
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Becoming one with nature is the supporting theme behind COULSON’s “Disappear Retreat,” a sustainable structure that completely blends in with its surrounding environment. Constructed to withstand extremely cold climate locations like Chicago, Seattle, Buffalo and Calgary, the tiny structure’s harmonious design is highlighted by various eco-friendly elements that ensure its living footprint remains at “zero energy, zero waste, zero water.”

For starters, the 83 square foot space boasts a heating load of a mere 100 watts, a feat achieved without the presence of active heating or cooling systems. Its glass walls reflect the encompassing area; however a transparent ultraviolet color serves as a deterrent that keeps roaming animals from accidentally colliding with the “invisible” structure.

Weathered wood helps the retreat further mesh with the surrounding landscape. Designers also added lightweight thin-film photovoltaic panels on the south wall to generate solar energy and to help the building blend with trees. Additionally, the retreat’s thermal bridge-free design helps to minimize heat loss.

On the inspiration for their minimalist, nature-friendly dwelling, COULSON writes, “The spark for the design came under the night sky viewing a psychedelic show of northern lights and imagining a small, self-sufficient retreat with a glass roof where the universe overhead and surrounding ecosystems press close, where one feels connected to the planet and can sleep under the dazzling stars and dream with eyes open.”

They added, “We wanted to share this experience in a design that nurtures creative minds: those who can harness these natural wonders and reveal it to others through their work and words.”

Disappear Retreat comes in three models with the same exterior and various layout options for the interior. The Bed/Bath model features a built-in sofa storage bed, refrigerator, sink, shower, toilet and induction cooktop; The Basic offers an open floor plan; The Sauna comes equipped with wood benches and a sauna heater.