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Big World Home: like IKEA for houses


Above image: Alexander Symes by Bandmann Photography. All other photography by Barton Taylor.

Big World Homes has developed the very first flat-pack, off-grid tiny home, which offers a revolutionary solution to Australia’s housing affordability crisis.

The Big World Home costs AUD$60-80,000 and aims to cut up to 80% of the typical costs of a similar stand-alone dwelling.

“The first of its kind in the world – the Big World Home is portable, completely off-the-grid and can be built by two unskilled people in just a few days using only a hammer and a drill,” explains architect Alexander Symes.

It’s like IKEA, but for houses.


The tiny home comes completely fitted out with a living room, bed, and a plumbed bathroom. The entire structure is self sufficient and totally ‘off-grid’ with solar panels providing electricity and running water sourced from inbuilt rainwater tanks, and is mounted on a trailer, meaning it is portable.

The home integrates insulation with the exterior and interior walls, creating panels that are modular, adaptive, cheap, durable and easy to install.

“We’re excited to be launching one of the most progressive, socially oriented, community driven housing projects that Australia has ever seen, at a time when new options in affordable housing have never been more vital,” says Symes.


The incentive behind these homes lies in the challenges for the younger generation in breaking into the housing market, faced with declining wages, increasing relative prices and the difficulty of obtaining mortgages. “The Big World Home will basically free people to live how they want to live, rather than being chained to assets,” comments Bruce Jeffreys, co-founder of GoGet and Dresden Optics.

Big World Homes is negotiating with developers, councils and individual landowners for eligible, off-grid home owners (or tenants) to come together to create pop-up communities with these homes on unused development sites or vacant land.

“A transitional housing product that offers a solution to people currently unable to get into home ownership will completely disrupt the housing industry in a way we’ve never seen before,” says Symes.

The first Big World Home home was built in a couple of hours using only a hammer and a drill and was on display at the Sydney Architecture Festival Hub. You can contribute to the Big World Home crowdsourcing page or buy your very own Big World Home here.


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