Hank Butitta recently finished his Masters in Architecture at the University of Minnesota, and converted this bus as his Master’s Final Project.
The bus was purchased on Craigslist for $3000, and has had about $6000 in improvements. The majority of the work was completed in 15 weeks, just in time for his final review (although the first seven weeks were almost entirely design and prototyping, with the bulk of the construction completed in the last month and a half of the semester).
The even spacing of the window bays allow for the volume to be broken down into modular units of 28 inches square, leaving an aisle that is also 28 inches wide. The modular units are then grouped to create four primary zones: Bathroom, Kitchen, Seating, and Sleeping.
One of the primary goals during the design phase was to develop a living space in 225sqft that is as open and un-restricting as possible. In order to accomplish this, Hank set self-imposed guidelines that eliminated any furniture or structure above the bottom edge of the window. This allows the space to remain continuous, and maintains clear sight-lines from one end of the space to the other, even while seated. In order to accomplish this he developed a thin wall system integrating structure, insulation, electrical, lighting, and facing, leaving the interior open for occupation. The ceiling is covered in plywood flexed by compression, and the floor is reclaimed gym flooring, complete with 3-point line.
The windows also contribute greatly to the open feeling in such a small space. Many bus conversions cover a majority of the windows to aid in privacy and insulation. This results in a dramatic reduction in natural lighting and obscures the fantastic panoramic views, not to mention compromising the embedded energy of the windows already in place. In order to mitigate issues of privacy and insulation, drop-down translucent insulation panels were built into the lower walls, and can be raised into place with the aid of magnets. Additionally, two skylights are placed where emergency hatches once sat, bringing a fantastic amount of light into the space.
Read the rest of the story on the bus transformation, on Hank Bought A Bus
All images, info & video © Hank Butitta & Justin Evidon