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Once a perfectly ordinary yellow school bus, Aubergine is now an unusual tiny house in an unusual community, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri. Dancing Rabbit is a commune with a focus on ecological sustainability, so when their bus reached the end of its mobile life it was only natural to find a new use for it. In contrast to many bus conversions no attempt has been made to retain a bus aesthetic, and the bus itself has all but disappeared behind a sheet-metal roof, earthen berm and adjacent greenhouse.

Here’s Aubergine, getting towed into her final resting place…

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There are good practical reasons for all of the add-ons. The roof diverts rainwater to a collection system, the berm protects the bus body from the wind, and the heat from the greenhouse radiates so well to the living area that the woodstove inside is only needed at night.

Rainwater from the roof fills the blue plastic barrels, and the simple sun porch looks like a great place to read a book.

Aubergine 1Aside from heat, the greenhouse provides kale, horseradish, and strawberries.

Aubergine 6With the greenhouse on one side and an earthen berm on the other, Aubergine stays in the high 60s even when covered with snow.

Aubergine 5The drawback is that the interior’s rather dark, but colored glass bottles serving as small windows brighten it a bit.

Aubergine 4Katherine’s workspace – and coworker looking less than enthusiastic about the photo op.

Aubergine 3There’s no bathroom, but plenty of space for working, relaxing, and sleeping.

Aubergine 2

Dancing Rabbit residents built Aubergine over several years at a cost of about $6,000, and it’s now home to eco-artist Katherine Hanson, who’s even found room for a small studio workspace inside the 150-square-foot bus frame. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage website.

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