The only thing that seems to prevent the wider adoption of mini-homes is the prohibitive price. Since most of these mobile units use durable materials or are built to be more environmentally friendly, they are expensive – sometimes even more expensive than a real house. This one, the Tricycle House, would not be.
October is self-evolutionIconic Vehicle Month, a virtual month-long celebration of all types of iconic vehicles, whether motorized or pedal operated. The Tricycle House, although often cited among the strangest (and most creative) mobile homes in the world, would qualify here for this reason alone: ââit is one of the more ingenious versions of the Tiny House movement that we have ever seen. have seen. It is also suitable because it is a very clever interpretation of the traditional bicycle, a transport icon in its own right.
The tricycle house is exactly what it looks like: a mobile home based on a tricycle. The idea seems absurd, even more than a previous concept we discussed last summer, that of a Piaggio Ape converted into a motorhome. However, the home of the tricycle is not a motorhouse because it has no engine: being based on a tricycle. You don’t even get motorized assistance, as you would with many cargo bikes today, as the concept dates back to 2012, when e-bikes were in their infancy.
The tricycle house was designed by Popular Architecture Office (PAO) and People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) as part of the Get It Louder 2012 exhibition in China. The idea was to create something that would address the problems of modern town planning, recycle waste, and allow more functionality and efficiency in the ever-crowded cityscape. The tricycle house is, as such, a stand-alone house or a module that can be integrated with similar tricycles in a larger “building”, which could house an entire family.
The basic model can accommodate two people. Each piece is made of lightweight plastic (polypropylene) that has been CNC cut, flat marked, folded and welded to shape. On the road, it doesn’t look taller than a bicycle trailer, although it is significantly taller. When parked, the unit unfolds much like an accordion, revealing the basic comforts: kitchen unit with stove and sink, a bench and table for eating or a bed for sleeping in the same cabinet, and a bathroom with shower / tub and toilet at the back.
Inside the house, you even benefit from a storage space and shelves integrated into the modular furniture. There is also a water tank of indeterminate dimensions, and the slight transparency of the material lets light inside, whether natural or from the streetlights.
The second occupant would not be able to move around the house as this would increase the person’s weight and effort to pedal. Instead, they could ride their own tricycle, which could be a garden (Tricycle Garden) or an additional module to expand the principal’s living space. The designers noted that several modules of the house could form a larger structure, much like a real city apartment; several Garden modules could even constitute a park.
Certainly, there are several important issues that would need to be addressed in order for something like Tricycle House to happen. But the concept shows that tiny houses can work even on the most unlikely platform, like that of a tricycle. In theory, this would also allow empty parking lots to be used at night and, because it would allow people to live closer to work, lead to less traffic congestion.
We have seen similar ideas come to market in recent years, although they have never been presented as alternatives to real homes. Bicycle motorhomes, such as Scout or ModyPlast e-bike trailers, offer a more elegant and comfortable variant to regular bikepacking.