This tiny, experimental eco home is a 'geometric masterpiece' hidden in a New York forest – and you can stay there
Designed by architect Steven Holl – this mid-century-style studio home has 'no bedrooms but sleeps three' – among other secrets
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Somewhere between Rhinebeck and the Hudson Valley, you will find the Ex of In House, the experimental 'geometric masterpiece' that is this Steven Holl-designed 'tiny home' – and it's about to move to the top of your must-visit list.
The house, created by the New York-based architect Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia, Associate Architect, is one of the world's best eco houses in ways beyond its minimalist, mid-century decorating ideas.
Ecological innovations include geothermal heating and cooling, a recycled Poraver (opens in new tab) façade, a solar flex panel roof, a locally-sourced wood interior with a super-insulated birch plywood diaphragm construction; PLA corn starch-based 3D printed light fixtures – and no trees were cleared in the construction process.
But it is more than an eco home – it's an artistic project and remains just as the creator intended (organic Japanese futon beds included). It's also available on Airbnb (opens in new tab), meaning you can sleep in this bedroom-less space for yourself.
Designed around the concept of a sphere – and how we exist and integrate into spheres from before birth – the home plays with circles in a way that is visible from its façade. The entry porch is an orb of wood carved out of the house, welcoming you to the playful geometric space from the first moment.
'The Ex of In House explores a language of space, aimed at inner spatial energy strongly bound to the ecology of the place – questioning current clichés of architectural language and commercial practice,' says Holl.
The studio spans two levels, with a small kitchen in the center. This space, like everything in the eco-house – uses sustainable resources to fuel its appliances. Instead of fossil fuel, the home is heated geothermally, and it uses electricity from the sun instead of grid power.
Though (inevitably) compact, the wooden-hued kitchen offers a dining space and the amenities you can expect from a modern home – many of which are integrated into the cabinets – for a streamlined, almost invisible look.
As mentioned, the house has 'zero bedrooms' but is said to accommodate three on its Airbnb listing. While the space has no designated room for sleep, the studio has slumber-friendly nooks – offering one Japanese-inspired futon queen bed, a sleeper futon sofa, and one single futon bed.
These futon-style beds, which roll away, are famed in Japan, where sleeping on a firm surface is said to help keep the spine aligned – and consequently reduce the possibility of back pain when you wake up.
Those familiar with Rhinebeck, NY, will know that the area has snow-filled winters and hot summers – so staying in a wood cabin may come with temperature challenges. However, that's taken care of, too.
The studio has a wood stove that is 'highly efficient' at warming the entire home in the Hudson Valley winters. Guest have access to an ample supply of wood stacked outside the house, so you don't need to go hiking before you unwind.
Meanwhile, in the sunnier months, Steven Holl (opens in new tab) designed the home to allow for constant airflow when all the doors and windows are opened.
Prices are subject to variation, depending on the date, but there are some nights available for $500 (per night) in the coming months. Discover more about the Ex of In House (opens in new tab) on Steven Holl's website.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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