This 20-foot-long futuristic recreational vehicle has button-activated expandable walls to become a 400 sqft mobile home instantly

eVTOL aircrafts may be the future of personal aviation but the future of adventures on the road would be an all-encompassing recreational vehicle that transforms from its minimal structure on demand. We have seen a few iterations of travel trailers – such as the Rockwood Roo – that fit the notion, but the smart expanding ability with sustainable features is yet to reach recreational vehicles.

That’s what we thought until going up and personal with the eTH, an Electric Transformer House, doing rounds at CES in its rendered glory. A sublime blend of comfort, smart tech, and sustainability; it is by far the most futuristic mobile living space present in Vegas, at the time of writing. Visioned with the future in mind, eTH is the brainchild of Italian design house Pininfarina and AC Future, a leading inventor of living solutions for the future.

Designer: Pininfarina and AC Future

This mobile living space is a green van that features an all-glass upper body. The developers have a proof of concept at CES, and from how we learn, the prototype could be on the way. The mass production for this ultra-capable, highly functional, and amazingly luxurious mobile home is aligned for the fourth quarter of 2025, that’s if all were to go as planned.

This out-of-the-ordinary electric recreational vehicle is different from the usual market-ready options in two departments: first, its expansion ability and second, the vivid sustainable functions on board. The eTH aligns in the former segment with movable walls, which allows the structure of the modular living space to expand from 20-foot-long, 11-foot-high to a good 400 square feet abode on the push of a button.

While the expanding form factor of the eTH would allow the RV to redefine the concept of living on wheels, it will be the inherent off-grid features that would make it a haven for adventurers. To that end, the modular RV features retractable 25kWh solar panels on the roof and onboard batteries to power it for a week of off-the-grid living. Details on the sleeping facility, washroom, and kitchen are scanty at the moment, but the Electric Transformer House has an Atmospheric Water Generator that produces fresh drinking water from the air every day.

The fascination extends further into the inside of the eTH where folding furniture enthralls with the convenience it renders while driving or when halted for the night. The lux interior allows this RV to be used as a full-time residence or mobile home by nomadic workaholics. For the latter, the inventive cockpit with driver assist technology and entertainment hub has a dashboard that doubles as an office desk. The steering wheel retracts under and the space above becomes a functional workspace while Starlink and Co-Pilot take care of the connectivity requirements.

AI-powered cat door stops your feline companion from bringing home dead gifts

Cats are notorious for many things, with curiosity at the top of that list. They can and will pounce on small critters, sometimes with undesirable consequences. If that wasn’t bad enough, cats that have owners have a tendency to bring home the spoils of war, whether for themselves or as a gift to their humans. Either way, those unwanted and unmoving critters are sure to create unhealthy and unsavory circumstances at home, often discovered only after the fact. At CES 2024, a rather curious solution is being presented, utilizing those hot AI powers to stop your cat from entering your abode until they finally let go of their lifeless package.

Designer: Flappie

Flappie wouldn’t be the first smart pet door to grace the market, but it is probably the first to be so laser-focused on a very specific use case. The fact that it needs to only pay attention to cats and a very specific scenario means its designers and developers can also pour resources only into things that matter. In this case, that means it’s only concerned about recognizing cats and whether they have prey in their mouths before entering your house.

Like other smart doors, Flappie has sensors, specifically a camera, facing the outside world. When your cat approaches, it uses AI to identify whether it’s bringing home prey or just some other inanimate object. If it indeed carrying some previously living thing, the smart door will won’t open up and prevent your cat from entering. Only when the cat has figured out that it can’t go in without dropping its payload first will the AI door finally let it have access and resume living in the safety and comfort of its indoor abode.

The idea for this kind of specialized security system is to hopefully train the cat to not bring in dead things (or other things) and drop them off at the door before coming in. It’s not a foolproof method, but one that the designers believe is more effective than manually monitoring the cat. They are confident that the AI has a 90% accuracy in identifying dead prey like mice, birds, and even snakes, and it will only get better as it learns over time.

Flappie also has other functions besides training your cat to be respectful when coming back home. Those same cameras can be used to capture your feline’s precious moments and even share them on social media. You could control it remotely via an app, but there are also manual controls in case things get a little out of hand. The smart door can also be connected to your cat’s chip, presuming it has one, so that it will only let your own cat in and keep curious strangers out.

The Diamond ADU Is A Cedar-Clad Home Inspired By Farm Buildings

Designed by American studio Schwartz and Architecture, this appealing cedar-clad ADU is part of a family estate in Sonoma, which is a historic town nestled in Northern California’s winemaking region. The home is intended to function as “a jumping-off point for a modern wine country design”. The entire property includes a main house, as well as multiple other buildings, each of them pulling in the attention of the onlookers. The ADU is designed to be demure from certain angles, and extremely lively from others.

Designer: Schwartz and Architecture

While designing the ADU, the architects were inspired by the farm structures found in Sonoma Valley, quite a few of which have a dilapidated appearance. “Their original, steeply sloped roofs are now drooping into low-slung structures, peeling apart, allowing in unexpected puddles of natural light, and revealing fragments of their interior framing to the outside elements,” said the team.

The inspiration from the farm structure led the architectural team to build a 1200-square-foot dwelling that includes two volumes consisting of a foyer and a sheltered patio. One of the volumes is shaped like a square, and it includes an open-plan communal space. While the other volume accommodates a bed and a bathroom. The exterior walls have been clad in an Alaskan yellow cedar with a unique weathered finish. The entire structure is built using mostly wood, with a couple of steel beams.

As you enter the ADU, you are welcomed by bright rooms, a neutral color palette, and warm earthly materials that make you feel at home. The flooring and kitchen cabinetry are built using European white oak, while the kitchen countertops are quartzite. The island is clad in the same cedar used in the exterior facades. A section of the roof has been sliced apart to create a linear skylight that spans the area between the public space to the bathroom.

“Neither an unconsidered ‘modern farmhouse’ nor the literal ruins of a de-constructing rural barn, we hope this modern country home feels alive – complete but always in process,” said the team.

Ethereal-Looking Light-Filled Home With Lush Greenery Is Awarded UK’s Best New Home In 2023

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) had picked a longlist earlier this year for the 2023 House of The Year, followed by a shortlist in October. After much thought and speculation, the award was presented to Hayhurst and Co for its Green House in London. Deemed the best new home in the UK, the Green House is tucked away on a busy street in Tottenham, North London, and is designed to be a light-filled and lush green home for a family.

Designer: Hayhurst and Co

To build the Green House, the studio had to replace a dilapidated building in poor condition. The new structure is a contemporary, beautifully designed, and energy-efficient family home. It features a visually appealing facade that is built using sliding polycarbonate roofing sheets, which allow daylight to effortlessly stream into the home. This creates an open and free-flowing space that is filled with light and feels expansive and cozy.

The home was also built using sustainably sourced cross-laminated timber, as well as roof-based solar panels which reduces the home’s dependency on grid-based electricity. The entire home is heated by an energy-efficient pump system. It was the client’s and the architect’s mission to build a truly sustainable home, which can be seen in the various features and detailing of the home.

“Green House, affectionately known as the ‘Tottenham Riad,’ is a true oasis within the city,” said RIBA Jury Chair, Dido Milne. ”It is both airy and cozy, bold yet respectful of its neighbors. Your eye is simultaneously drawn upwards to the open sky and down and out across the living room to verdant greenery.”

The home has been filled to the brim with loads of greenery. It is arranged like a Moroccan riad, with a huge internal courtyard placed in the center. It also includes a first-floor balcony, as well as an atrium that encourages stack ventilation. The Green House is topped with a quaint rooftop terrace that functions as an idyllic space to relax in. The rooms of the home are quite spacious and expansive, which can be separated via curtains if need be, this provides the family with flexibility if circumstances and needs change in the future.

This Concrete Home In A Canadian Hayfield Is A Modern Architectural Marvel

Canadian designer Omer Arbel recently unveiled his latest project – a beautiful family home in a lush green hayfield in the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Named 75.9, the home is built using concrete, intricately and interestingly, featuring monumental trumpet-shaped columns. When it comes to creating structures, Arbel prefers to release control and allows the materials to take over, and naturally create the form, resulting in a mesmerizing interplay of materials and contemporary architecture.

Designer: Omer Arbel

“For 15 years, we’ve developed a method of working with materials at the scale of an object,” said Arbel. “This is the first project where we’ve had the opportunity to apply that same methodology at the scale of architecture.”  The home is constructed by pouring concrete inside the columns. The columns are fabric formed with radiating ribs. A structure like this had never been constructed, hence the client only allowed Arbel to complete the entire home around the foundation, once the first column had been successfully installed.

The impressive concrete columns are the major elements of the home and lead to the creation of large and spacious interiors. The living room of the home has been segregated into four double-height volumes that are built using glass and cedar wood. This forms the living room, timber-framed bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen with a dining area, and modern bathrooms. The polished concrete flooring and pillars contrast against the timber furnishings and fixtures, providing a sense of warmth and comfort to the various interior spaces. Pendant lights from Bocci, the lighting company co-founded by Arbel, light up the spaces, illuminating them with subdued elegance.

The interiors are interspersed with large windows that allow natural light to flow in through the entirety of the day. Folding glass windows line one of the walls edging the dining zone, and it can be slid entirely to the side, allowing the space to open up to an adjoining timber outdoor terrace. A landscaped roof tops the home, and it is adorned with Magnolia trees that grow from the hollow tops of columns, allowing the home to effortlessly merge with its natural setting. “The hay field is treated as if it were a carpet, draped over the volumes of the residence in a series of berms, allowing the entire building roof to be traversed from the exterior,” Arbel concludes.

The Konga Off-Grid Tiny Home Features A Well-Designed Kitchen Made With Offcuts

Lithuanian kitchen maker Konga used the hefty supply of offcuts they had to create their own line of prefabricated tiny houses. They used the surplus material to build a good-looking and minimal non-towable home that can run both on or off-grid. The dwelling has a pretty low starting price point of US$59,000. The home isn’t built entirely from offcuts, but they have been used in the construction of the tiny home’s kitchen.

Designer: Konga

The tiny home is designed by the Danish architect Mette Fredskild, and it is finished in charred wood, giving it a rather unique and appealing look, while also providing protection against insects. It also helps to preserve the home, while accentuating its distinctive appearance. Generous glazing has been applied to the home, and most of it is operable. It is a well-insulated home that can deal with the cold weather and snow loads quite efficiently.

The interiors are well-designed and inviting. They measure 28 square meters, which is covered entirely on one floor, and feature a shared open-plan living space. The walls of the home have been clad in wooden oak veneer panels and teamed up with oak flooring. The cabin is filled with natural light, owing to the generous amount of glazing.

The kitchen is amped with a lot of features and amenities. It showcases a fridge, sink, and propane-powered gas stove, with loads of cabinetry and shelving. There is also a living room area with a sofa, a small dining table, as well a wood-burning stove to provide warmth. Two bedrooms have been positioned on either side of the kitchen. One of the bedrooms can be transformed into a home office, with sliding doors being installed to offer some privacy if need be. Both the toilet and the bathroom with shower are located in different rooms. The home also accommodates a small utility room, as well as a couple of storage nooks that have been nestled away throughout the house.

The cabin runs from an RV-style grid hookup, but buyers can opt for an optional rooftop solar panel setup and rainwater collection system. The wood-burning stove can be connected to a hot water system as well. The tiny home features a freezing toilet, instead of a composting toilet, and it basically freezes waste, ensuring the space stays odorless.

The Orca Tiny Home With Its Spacious & Roomy Interior Feels Anything But Tiny

Dubbed the Orca Edition Park Model, this tiny house feels anything but tiny. Designed by Mint Tiny Homes, who have some experience in designing spacious tiny homes, Orca aspires to feel like an apartment on wheels! It measures 528 square meters and features a spacious and roomy interior within a single floor. The Orca Edition Park Model measures 44 feet in length and 12 feet in width, making it a pretty expansive model that is ideal for being located on one site, rather than being towed and moved away regularly.

Designer: Mint Tiny Homes

The Orca is founded on a quadruple-axle trailer and features a finishing of board and batten engineered wood siding topped with a sloping metal roof. As you enter the home, you are welcomed by double glass doors that lead to a spacious and well-designed kitchen space. The kitchen includes an oven, a full-size fridge/freezer, a sink, a full-size dishwasher, a four-burner propane-powered stove, and a microwave. The kitchen’s cabinetry features a floor-to-ceiling pantry, amped with adjustable shelving. A central dining table is also located in the space.

Adjacent to the kitchen is the living, which is equipped with a full-size sofa, fireplace, coffee table, and space for a wall-mounted TV. You can enter the secondary bedroom of the tiny room via a sliding door. There are no lofts in this home as it follows Canadian planning laws for a home of this size. The bedroom is equipped with a generous amount of glazing, as well as ample headroom to stand straight without bumping your head onto the ceiling. It also features a double bed and some storage space.

The other end of the kitchen is flanked by a small hallway equipped with a laundry area with a washer/dryer as well as storage space. There is a bathroom located close by, and it is outfitted with a vanity sink, bathtub with shower, and a composting or flushing toilet. This small hallway then naturally connects to the main bedroom, which holds a double bed and wardrobe space. The master bedroom also features a door that leads to the outside, so you have separate access to it.

Floating Home In Ecuador Is Designed To Preserve The Community Of A Centuries-Old Floating Village

Dubbed La Balsanera, this floating house is nestled along the Babahoyo River in Ecuador. Designed by architecture studio Natura Futura Arquitectura and architect Juan Carlos Bamba, this home is located inside a centuries-old floating village that suffers from the risk of disappearing for good! La Balsanera is an effort to preserve the community and to serve as a prime specimen of sustainable redevelopment.

Designer: Natura Futura Arquitectura and Juan Carlos Bamba

The river is closed presently as a commercial fluvial route, and hence the number of floating structures has gone down from two hundred to twenty-five. La Balsanera was designed in an effort to bring back “the tradition of living on the river” according to the architects. The home occupies 70 square meters and is built for a family of three. The family sells food to the community and repairs wooden boats, signifying the socio-economic utility of the river.

La Balsanera features a two-meter-wide extension to a platform that function as terraces for the family to utilize as “productive environments” – for example, a cafe seating area, anchor point, or tourist boat. “La Balsanera explores possible floating solutions that recover local artisan techniques while promoting the active and productive participation of the occupants in vulnerable communities,” said Bamba.

The floating home is constructed from wooden porticos that are built every two meters to build a gabled truss structure. This structure is topped by a corrugated roof that provides shelter to the outdoor terraces, as well as a colorful hammock. The home includes a central space that accommodates a shared living room, kitchen, and dining area, as well as two bedrooms. Two external strips at either end of the space provide a shower, toilet, laundry space, and boat workshop. The space is also equipped with “chazas” which are slatted openings that have been made from recycled wood. These “chazas” help ventilate the space and maintain a cool environment indoors. A bridge functions as an efficient walkway between the mainland and the floating home. It is made using bamboo and various planks of wood. Shutter doors have been incorporated throughout the space, connecting the living spaces to the terraces.

The Raven Is A Sleek All-Black Tiny Home That Supports a Full Off-Grid Flexible Lifestyle

The Raven is a striking and impressive tiny home designed by Canada’s Rewild Homes. It features an eye-catching all-black finish while boasting off-grid flexibility amped with a solar panel and a generator setup. The interiors of the Raven are beautifully designed, flaunting a U-shaped kitchen, and a cozy loft-based home library. It measures 30 feet in length and is supported by a triple-axle trailer with a sleek metallic finish.

Designer: Rewild Homes

As you enter the tiny home, you are welcomed by the living room, which has a generous amount of space for a sofa, storage cabinet, and some shelving. The home is powered by Philips Hue’s smart lighting, which illuminates the space quite effectively. Adjacent to the living is a U-shaped kitchen which is planned around a central oven with a four-burner propane-powered stove. The kitchen contains a breakfast bar with stool seating, a fridge/freezer, and a sink, as well as a generous amount of cabinetry.

The other end of the home features the bathroom, which is quite large and spacious for a tiny home. The bathroom includes a composting toilet, shower, and sink. There is a washer/dryer as well as some cabinetry in there. The walls have been finished in a lovely Shou Sugi Ban-treated wood, which is the Japanese technique of charring wood to preserve it.

The Raven tiny home is equipped with two lofts, the master bedroom is located in one, and it can be accessed via a storage-integrated staircase. This kind of space is quite commonly seen in tiny homes, and are usually outfitted with a low ceiling, and space for a double bed. The second loft also features a low ceiling, and it can be utilized as a home library. You can access this space via a sliding ladder that can be stowed to one side.

The tiny home is powered via an EcoFlow solar panel array and a battery setup that were added by the owners. These are also accompanied by a dual-fuel generator by EcoFlow, which runs using propane or gasoline, allowing the lights to always be on irrespective of the weather.

Casa GE Is A Low-Energy Home In Spain With A Minimum Footprint But Maximum Functionality & Comfort

Dubbed Casa GE, this newly built low-energy house in the town of Seva, nestled in the middle of Monstseny Natural Park, north of Barcelona was designed by Alventosa Morell Arquitectes. The home is located on a sloping triangular plot, tucked between two streets, and is designed to be a simple and minimal family home that has minimum energy requirements while maintaining a serene and solid connection to the garden. The home is quite modest and perfect for a close-knit family.

Designer: Alventosa Morell Arquitectes

The studio had a unique strategy for designing the home. They created a strategy with two approaches. At first, they surveyed the site and then selected the best spot to construct the home which was the highest and flattest point. This minimized earthworks and protected the pre-existing trees, while also maximizing the views. They also developed a brand-new construction system that can support a complete shift in the organization of the internal space, allowing it to transform from an open plan to a more intimate and conventionally designed space. It is a single-story home with a linear plan. The bedroom is connected to an office, and then a living room, kitchen-diner, and terrace.

The main rooms have a stunning view of the garden. They are amped with sliding glass walls which are teamed up with patterned brickwork. A large terrace opens up to the kitchen which is sheltered with an oversailing pitched roof. A simple porch features a solitary column and flat roof, which perfectly contrasts the terrace. The entire house is designed to be simple and low maintenance. The windows on the southern side offer solar heat in the winter while providing shade during the summer season. Skylights and sliding doors offer cross-ventilation during the hotter parts of the year, while excellent insulation enables the house to be heated via a single pellet-burning stove.

Casa GE is a prime example of excellent low-energy construction which is the specialty of the architects – Marc Alventosa and Xavier Morell. The architects make an effort to ensure that all their projects are “socially, economically and environmentally responsible”, and Casa GE is certainly no exception.