At the bottom of this article you will find the third question of the TinyFindy summer contest, with which you can win an overnight stay in a Tiny House!
It was not exactly an easy start, but the Tiny House project in Harderwijk now seems to be very successful. As far as the residents are concerned, it has already is: they are having a wonderful time living in their unique houses amidst the wild flowers and the municipal flower garden on the Rappad. But before the three women were allowed to place their Tiny Houses there, the neighborhood first had to be reassured.
Taking away prejudice
The municipality of Harderwijk has worked hard to realize a pilot project with Tiny Houses. It all started with an informative gathering about Tiny Housing, organized by Stadspartij Harderwijk Anders in January 2017. A suitable location was found on a strip of grassland on the Rappad. However, some local residents indicated that they were less happy with the chosen location.
In retrospect, as is often the case, this turned out to be largely based on misunderstandings. They were afraid that the location would become a caravan park, or that there would be nuisance from off-grid installations. The Tiny House residents have solved this by presenting the designs of their Tiny Houses to the neighborhood in the nearby meeting center De Rietmeen. Fears and prejudices were allayed because the concerned local residents were able to meet the future Tiny House residents (“you are actually quite normal people!”) and see the plans for the modern Tiny Houses. A creative solution that worked very well. When the corona measures allow it again, the residents want to organize open house days especially for the neighborhood.
Femke is the first resident in the pilot. She attended the information meeting in 2017 and immediately registered for the pilot, while thinking: “This might take a few years.” Initially, there were ten participants for the project, for which the municipality carried out the selection procedure. Because it was decided to carry out the project completely off-grid, i.e. without connections to utilities, quite a few candidates dropped out. In the end, Demi and Pam were chosen quite recently to join Femke. Three women living alone, cozy in a small neighborhood with a good balance between privacy and togetherness. Femke likes it very much.
Femke: “Harderwijk has everything. It’s too small to really be a city, but it has all the amenities you want.”
Femke lived in Haarlem before coming to Harderwijk, but has also lived in Zwolle. Her Tiny House was designed by Menno of Woonpioniers and built by Liberté Tiny Houses. She has a separate kitchen in the house, because she didn’t want to look into the kitchen from her living room. It really had to be a ‘house house’. Her Tiny House was placed in May 2020 and she moved in on July 1, 2020.
Demi is originally from Zeewolde and studied Architecture at the Windesheim in Zwolle. She designed her Tiny House with the appropriate name ‘DeMini’ herself and built it with the help of her father. That was a considerable project, as she was also just graduating at the time. So straight from school to the construction site it was. Although she was thoroughly theoretically grounded, she lacked practical experience. But as she herself says: “YouTube is your friend!”. Together with her father, they built the house from top to bottom and selected and installed all the installations themselves.
Her mother also worked three days a week on the construction of the house, and on weekends an entire construction team of friends filled the workshop in Zeewolde. That was necessary too, Demi worked with a tight deadline: the potato warehouse where she built her house had to be cleared in time for the harvest. Construction started in mid-February 2020 and on August 5th, the Tiny House was transported to Harderwijk. Demi was completely exhausted by then and even had to recover from all the hard work for a while at home. A story that many Tiny House residents identify with, it is an extremely intensive process to realize your own Tiny House.
Demi has an SMA energy system for which she is the first to use off-grid in the Netherlands. With 6 x 400W solar panels and 6.8 kWh lithium batteries, she can even cook electrically for a large part of the year.
The last to join the project is Pam. She is Dutch but has lived in Curaçao for a long time, where she worked for a recycling organization after her retirement. She has built a shipping container house there and likes to be inspired by the American Tiny House founder Jay Shafer. Pam also designed her house herself and it is called Blenchi (papiamentu for hummingbird). The vapour-open hull was built by Kjeld Metsemakers (Tiny House LinKje) and Jan-Willem van der Male (Tiny House Academy) and Pam is currently finishing the build with help. A colleague on Curaçao turned out to be an architect and helped Pam with her design.
Every Tiny House resident has different wishes, Pam absolutely did not want a ladder in her house. Together with her colleague, she went looking for solutions for storage space in the floor of her house. For example, there is a hatch on both sides of the Tiny House through which she can enter a large insulated storage space under her shower and toilet area. Her kitchen is situated on a raised platform with a slanted corner that has a playful feel and allows more space on the lower floor. In order to create more cupboard space, the kitchen cupboards and the spacious wardrobe to the side of the stage continue to the lower living room level. She will lower her bed from the ceiling with a pulley system when she wants to sleep.
Pam: “Light and ventilation are very important in a small house, there had to be enough windows at the top of the house.” In addition to the feeling of space, her starting points were: basic, functional, as self-sufficient as possible and permaculture.
The pilot project in Harderwijk has been licensed for five years. An evaluation will take place after four years, and if successful, the permit may be extended for another five years. Despite the initial protests from the neighborhood, no objection to the environmental permit has been filed.
What a lovely place you have, and what a fun time you will have together! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your Tiny Houses and life. We wish you a lot of pleasure living there, and hope that the permit will be extended to ten years!
Summer competition: Greetings from…
This summer you can once again enjoy the imaginary journey of Finny Thow along water cities in the Netherlands. Finny is a wanderlust little house on wheels, who discovers the world with his friend Bob Spacious. If you guess where he is, you can win a free overnight stay in a Tiny House from EcoCabins at BaseCamp IJmuiden!
Finny en Bob, crossing Africa
WFinny and Bob, across Africa. All good entries also have a chance to win one of the three printed copies of ‘Finny and Bob, across Africa’, which we are offering as an extra prize. See also: Finny en Bob, crossing Africa. All correct entries also have a chance to win one of the three printed copies of ‘Finny and Bob, across Africa’, which we are offering as an extra prize. See also this article about the competition.
Where is Finny this time?
At the beginning of September, after the last postcard, you will see all holiday locations again and you can send the answers. So you can keep the answers and send them to us after the last roundup of six destinations in September.