The Skit: An off-grid, cross-shaped, tiny house for one


May 8, 2014

The Skit, by Georgia-based Dachi Papuashvili (Image: Dachi Papuashvili)

The Skit, by Georgia-based Dachi Papuashvili (Image: Dachi Papuashvili)

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One could be forgiven for thinking that shipping container-based architecture may have reached saturation point. After all, Gizmag has previously reported on student digs, a passively-cooled home, and a cruise ship terminal, to name just a few examples. However, Georgia-based Dachi Papuashvili has produced a charming cross-shaped tiny house concept called the Skit that proves the continuing ability of the useful boxes to inspire.

The Skit is designed as a one-person home that will be built from two shipping containers, arranged in a cross formation. The residence comprises three very snug floors which measure just 4 sq m (43 sq ft), and a fourth, relatively larger floor, which measures 12 sq m (130 sq ft) and takes up the entire horizontal shipping container.

There's no room for stairs in such a cramped space, so access to each floor is gained by ladder, and the interior includes a bedroom, combined lounge and study, kitchen and dining room, and a prayer room right up at the top of the home. There's also a bathroom with composting toilet and shower, and some storage space. The first floor is wholly reserved as a store for food, captured rainwater, and to house a battery array.

Papuashvili states that his tiny home would be prefabricated before being transported to its eventual destination, and that standard metal shipping containers would be covered with a wooden cladding. It will operate completely off-grid, relying exclusively on roof-bound rainwater collector and solar panels. A small wood-burning stove will provide all heating.

Though the Skit remains on the drawing board at present, Dezeen reports that Papuashvili hopes to construct a working prototype next year.

Source: Behance

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Make that 3 floor double wide and it would be even nice. Good job.


I think that is really cool. I would not mind living there.


"One could be forgiven for thinking that shipping container-based architecture may have reached saturation point."

The following would be a more accurate statement:

One would be correct for thinking that shipping container-based architecture may have reached saturation point.


I would like to see 20 or so of these various "container house" and "tiny house" designs set up on one area, so that people could volunteer to compare their practicality and (hopefully) long-term efficiency over a few seasons of differing climate. This idea could be spread, with differing designs, over several continents, suiting local conditions. Voting could be enabled so the final winner(s) could get a grant for some kind of assistance in manufacture to make them readily - and cheaply - available for disaster areas, refugee camps, perhaps even student accommodation, etc.

The Skud

@The Skud I think the winners of the most practical design are also likely to be the least interesting architecture:

Heating/cooling costs would favor the smallest exterior surface area. A design like the Skit above would need a proper foundation and likely a suitable plot.

I think if you keep the assumption that the inside of each one has to accommodate each thing people will need you will end up with the contents of todays campers but if you deviate you do something sort of like cublets:

To put it simply, there is an economy of scale moving to a community based model where you could have a container with a large kitchen meant to serve large crowds of people. This would allow living containers that don't have a need for a full kitchen. You could have medical containers, workshop containers, operation/command etc. In an emergency/disaster you could presumably have containers that are military style bunk beds front to back.

Maybe the military could move to something more like that to keep costs down for non tent based housing. Going to war could look something like this:

If they need temp housing in a disaster they could pretty much repaint the containers as they are loading them to send them. They really wouldn't be terribly different than some of what the military is using today and people could buy surplus container pieces from the military like old trucks.

People building container housing so far have it mostly wrong, they are trying too hard to be different and not hard enough to design something that could be used as a standard. The design principals here with Skid mostly go against the idea of uniformity that allow shipping containers to be cheaply constructed and shipped globally for low cost in the first place.


How can there be a shortage of container-based architecture when there's so many containers going to waste and some many homeless people and people in need of affordable housing?

The designs just need to be more efficient for that purpose and more cost-effective.

As for this one, I really like the Cross in the beauty of the design- this one is the most organic appearing container-based architecture I have seen so far.

I would really like to build a castle-type development for multipurpose/multi-use and I would like to incorporate other obsolete industrial items like a jet airliner, a small ship and a water tower.

Money is just first distraction- but there are obviously other logistics and assorted details... I would like to use it as a school/industrial center that would facilitate unique industrial/military salvage design work.


Madeleine L'Engle would've love this house. Give it two more 2nd floor rooms and it'd be a 3D unfolding of a tesseract, as depicted in "A Wrinkle in Time".

Gregg Eshelman

I like the trend of off-grid with no "services" required. Independence is difficult when one is dependent on utilities companies. They decide what we pay and no competition is allowed.

I do not think a single person house is practical. We are social. The hermit market is very small.

Don Duncan
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