The MOD HIVE prototype exemplifies flexible design by maximizing adaptability to a variety of sites and contexts to create cost-efficient tiny home villages that never sacrifice a sense of community, whether it is a small cluster on one lot or a small, planned development consisting of multiple lots. By identifying an actual block of lots in Salt Lake City that is typical of the city, an appropriateness to real-world local conditions resulted in a responsive design solution—paving the way for a future of increased housing diversity capable of supporting and serving the needs of a more inclusive community. The name, MOD HIVE, captures this spirit with the word “mod” referring both to the modular and modern design, while “hive” is a nod to the beehive as the ubiquitous symbol for Utah and a symbol for the strong community and social connection our design supports.
The inward-looking site plan creates a tiny village with space for a community garden, outdoor gathering space, and barbecue/firepit to create a sense of place that encourages community. The design respects the overall feel and rhythm of a single-family detached neighborhood with two-story homes with complementary lower density at the front while higher densities are placed at the rear. By stacking units, density can be adjusted down or up according to solar access, access to views and other site constraints while never sacrificing outdoor communal spaces.
On-street, drop-off for rideshare services, such as Lyft and Uber, and onsite bike parking storage to de-emphasize cars and encourage alternative transportation options, are components that will work best for sites close to transit. However, onsite parking is still provided for in the design for applicability to sites far from transit, and in understanding that complete reliance on alternative transportation options is not aligned with current real-world conditions.
A modern cottage architectural style featuring warm wood tones, clean lines, and dark windows to contrast with the siding materials, is a new take on Utah’s existing traditional architectural charm. The steep roof pitches of the style allow for vaulted ceilings that help make these tiny homes feel larger than their square footage. Design thinking centered around affordability, accessibility, durability, livability and sustainability were key objectives in the creative solutions offered by this tiny home prototype.