Real Estate

This tiny “Ecocapsule” functions entirely off the grid

We all have those days when we want to just tear up the utility bills, take a hammer to our cellphones, and go fully off-grid. Modern life is comfortable, but comes with many hassles, and technology can sometimes feel like a trap rather than a convenience. Fortunately, a Slovakian design firm has created a tiny living space that allows its residents to get off the grid without having to leave behind all the pleasures of modernity.

The Ecocapsule, designed by Nice Architects, is a sleekly designed, self-sustaining miniature “cabin” of sorts. This egg-shaped domicile is incredibly efficient. According to its creators, the capsule can house two people for a year without any external power sources — that is, except the sun, rain, and wind. The pod has solar panels on its roof, a miniature wind turbine, and a filter system that turns makes rainwater potable.

Of course, low-impact living also tends to mean living small, and the Ecocapsule isn’t the exception to the rule. The whole thing is just eight square metres, or 86 square feet. Nevertheless, there’s a lot packed into that space, including a bed, bathroom, kitchenette, and workspace/dining area. As Igor Zacek, a co-founder of the project, told CNN, “It seems quite small from outside, but spacious from inside.”

Originally, Zacek thought the Ecocapsule would appeal most to nature enthusiasts, but he’s found that all sorts of people are interested in the possibilities the pod offers. Even Susan Sarandon has been tweeting about it. “Based on the response it could be for almost everybody,” said Zacek. “It has caught the imagination and reminded people of childhood dreams.”