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Visit D.C.'s Tiny-Home Commune, All Under 300-Square-Feet


On a small triangular plot of land in Washington, D.C.'s Stronghold neighborhood, there is a community of homes that are so small, they rival Washington, D.C.'s smallest studios. The community, Micro Showcase, currently features two homes that are less than 300-square-feet, called Minim House and Studio Shed. There are plans to construct two additional homes, called Boombox Container Studio and DC Students Tiny House. Each structure is able to function either as a home with working plumbing and electricity, a community gathering space, or a music studio. These microdwellings utilize sustainable practices like solar panels or a capture and treatment system for rainwater. The community also features a garden, "micro-orchard" with 15 fruit trees, and apiary. Later this year, a new regulationwill be passed that makes the dwellings in Micro Showcase illegal to reside in.


The community was founded in 2012 by Brian Levy. The project, formerly called Boneyard Studios, hosted five tiny houses for over two years before ending in the fall of 2014. One issue that caused Boneyard Studios to collapse was that the two-year construction of one of the homes never completed, aggravating the aesthetics and neighbors in the community. Another issue was that two of the homes never improved their sanitation system, drawing concern from the Zoning Commission. In the end, there was no way for residents to truly reside in the Boneyard Studios community due to a new zoning regulation proposed by the D.C. Office of Planning, prohibiting any residential use of trailers on any alley lot in the District. Regardless, Levy is still working to keep tiny homes in the public eye, whether tucked away in an alley lot or not.


↑ Minim House has been featured in news outlets that include Dwell, ABC, CBS, and HGTV. The home is only 11-feet by 22-feet with 212-square-feet of space. It's built with untreated, shiplapped cypress, and structural insulated panels. For electricity and plumbing, there is a 960 watt solar panel and a system that captures and treats up to 290 gallons of rainwater. Inside, you can find a roll out full size bed, 10-foot galley kitchen, and office space with a walnut desk that can open and close to reveal an electric piano.


↑ The Studio Shed was built in the spring of 2014 and has been featured in Dwell. It serves as a common gathering area for events and workshops. Originally, the common gathering area for the community was an eight-foot by 20-foot structure made by a shipping container before Studio Shed replaced it.


↑ The DC Students Tiny House will be completed between March and May of 2015. The 160-square-foot home is being built solely by students at the Academy of Construction of Design, a high school career and technical education program located in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the project is for students to learn carpentry and plumbing skills. The program is sponsored by the nonprofit DC Students Construction Trades Foundation.


↑ Boombox Container Studio, the fourth home in Micro Showcase, is planned to be built out of two shipping containers. The entire structure will be 16-feet by 25-feet with a music studio taking up half of the structure. Construction will begin March of 2015.
· The 10 Tiniest Homes You Can Buy in Washington, D.C. [Curbed DC]
· All Micro Week coverage [Curbed DC]