A house on wheels can be an adventure vehicle, a home with a view, or a moveable apartment unit. A recent University of Minnesota architecture graduate took on a unique thesis project when he converted an old school bus into a living space. Hank Butitta’s goal was to push the design process beyond theory and beyond drawings. The school bus project was a three-dimensional space, and it came with the corresponding challenges and benefits. The challenge was to take the limited square footage and develop a flexible multi-use space. The benefit: after the project is completed, you have a tiny home on wheels not a PowerPoint presentation.
The project known as Hank Bought a Bus has gone on the road. Over a 5,000 mile journey, Hank and friends are living in the bus to test its design and functionality. In such tight quarters, the space needs to be efficient. Smart design and multi-functionality are critical.
“The bus strikes a balance between affordability, livability, mobility, and a handful of other -ilities,” according to Hank. “It’s a jack of all trades. Although ‘jack’ may actually be overstating it. The question seems to be whether the trade-offs are worth it. As a road-trip vehicle, absolutely. As a living space… I don’t know. There are a lot of conveniences normally associated with modern life that aren’t terribly fleshed out. An as-of-yet unused porta-potty can’t quite compare with a flushing toilet. A foot-pump sink in the kitchen is no match for flowing water. A cooler is a pitiful replacement for a fridge. Shower? We don’t need no stinkin’ shower. (But really, we could use a shower right now.)”