This Affordable Shelter is Built Inside an Auto-rickshaw

Updated: May 15

Solo.01 by Billboards

With the current economic scenario, the tiny house movement is catching up all over the world and downsizing has become the norm. Although for some communities, even a house that size could be a boon.


Solo.01 is a utilitarian design of a compact 6'x 6' space into a portable/detachable housing at the back of a 3 wheeler auto rickshaw that can accommodate a solo individual like an artist, traveler, homeless people or even a small scale vendor. This is designed keeping in mind the concept of affordability and lifestyle of nomads and societal groups under the poverty line. The three-wheeler structure is a space with double functionality that includes a residence and commercial space.

Picture courtesy: Billboards

Planning is open, which is achieved by incorporating all necessary spaces like kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, toilet, foyer, terrace area and also additional space for a vendor to do sales. The planning has been done with the kitchen, bathtub, toilet, the foyer on one level and sleeping space, work space on the mezzanine level at 3.5 ft height. Also, there is the solar panel, water tank and a lounge space with shade in the terrace. By incorporating all these features the structure might be expected to be on the heavier side, but it is far from it. It is built to be consciously balanced since the weight is distributed equally.

Picture courtesy: Billboards

Solo 01 takes it to the next level by utilizing reclaimed materials within a minimized 36 sq.ft that elevates design by continuing the lifespan of discarded materials like metal scrap that had been thrown away from old bus bodies and demolished buildings. The durability is maintained, regardless of the functions and renovations. The space as a whole is designed taking every inch into account. Due to the usage of these materials, the cost has been reduced so much.

Picture courtesy: Billboards

To make the contrast in the visuals, Billboards preferred to keep the aesthetic of the exteriors as the golden yellow used for vehicles and interiors as minimal as possible. Interiors have more earthy tones, muted colors, and monochromatic shades were used to decorate the space. Each space is created with a specific intention, streamlining the design. The house is designed with various nooks and crannies, all perfectly designed for their purpose. It blends with the environment thanks to the openings that bring the outdoors indoors. The structure is properly ventilated throughout. The design is built to tackle many constraints like topography, material, aesthetics and weight balance.

Picture courtesy: Billboards

The structure is fixed with just 6 bolts to the vehicle which can be easily unscrewed and kept at a specific site for a period of time or can be fixed to any other vehicle. This detachable feature makes the structure more efficient for various circumstances.

Designers have maximized the total 6’x 6’ to give the value that isn’t minimalist but fully utilitarian. The concept is the fruit of research into actual needs; we’ve outwitted complex challenges with simple solutions.


Project: SOLO.01 Location: Namakkal, Tamil Nadu Firm: Billboards

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.billboards.collective/ Principal Architect: Arun Prabhu N. G. Category: Affordable Housing


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 TDC Magazine is a digital publication and online magazine that serves as a curated, hand-picked and carefully edited assemblage of the latest in architecture, design and artAll our content has been collected and posted in good faith with due consent of the producer for informative purpose only. We do not copy, replicate, share or sell the information with any third party. We do not take responsibility for the reliability or accuracy of the posted information.