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Tired of waking up to the same neighborhood every morning? If you live in the Little House on Rails (rough Polish translation), you could move around the community as you please.

Tomasz Zablotny and Paweł Maszota, Polish architecture students pushing the boundaries of the minimal housing movement, designed an innovative dwelling concept on a rail system. The duo drew inspiration from the Gdańsk Shipyard, an old industrial hub for boats and shipments.

“Our idea is to create and modulate a transformable housing complex so that a certain part of the post-industrial area would always be a liveable and comfortable space for artists, interns, workers or simply those to whom the unique atmosphere of the site would appeal,” said Zablotny during an interview for Dezeen.

“It’s meant to be an initiative that brings back everyday life to the area, making it liveable during festivals and exhibitions, but also on a day-to-day basis.”

shipyard housing concept

Small but Expandable Micro Homes

The small homes are made out of laminated wood and steel. For added comfort, the units are expandable, depending on the preferences of the owner. In a closed state, each one measures 209 x 150 x 243 cm (6.85 x 4.92 x 7.97 ft). When deployed on the tracks, the houses can extend up to 1 m (3.2 ft). There’s enough space for one person to live peacefully. It would’ve been nice if it were possible to link two or three units together.

Inside, you’ll find very basic living essentials. The kitchen includes a sink, pull-out countertop, which doubles as a single table for daily meals, and a flat burner. Around the corner is a standard bathroom, complete with a toilet and shower area. Due to the limited space, there’s no clear separation between the two components. All of the appliances and fittings inside the living area are sleek and compact.

When it’s time to call it a night, the couch converts into a bed. A sky top allows natural lighting to enter the modern home. Ideally solar panels would be used for sustainable energy. A Tesla Powerwall seems like a great addition to the concept, since the designers left out the electrical plans.

Shipyard housing Poland

Striking the Perfect Balance

Compared to living in a home that is permanently cemented to the ground, the Little House on Rails community presents several advantages for individuals who always have the urge to move and start over. But after making it around the shipyard a few times, you might be left wondering what else is out there, beyond the boundaries of the rail system.

The next level of freedom is a house on wheels or a traditional mobile home. But instead of going through the trouble of setting up a micro shelter at the ole shipyard, why not just go straight for a large van?

Not everyone wants to live in isolation. Living on the tracks strikes the perfect balance between being completely alone, and getting stuck in your everyday surroundings. At the end of the day, you may still want to feel the support of a bustling neighborhood.

bathroom layout

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