Been-Seen logo

articles

V Houses at Verana

V Houses at Verana

There are many ways to build employee quarters, temporary housing for those who decide to come work for a season at Verana. This summer we decided to build some additional housing and the images here show you what we came up with. V-houses at V-erana. An experiment which turned out to be exciting to design, to build and after all to live in.

V Houses at Verana

The idea to build those ‘outlooks’ came from Jo Scheer who had build his ‘hoochs’ in Puerto Rico and Oregon. He used mainly Bamboo or Douglas fir poles; we decided to use metal instead. With basically no environmental impact or foot print, those structures can be built on any type of surface condition. Flat ground, steep hills, lots of vegetation, trees, water, sand or whatever else might be in the way for any other design or construction.

V Houses at Verana

With 16’ off the ground they also created an instant spectacular view where there normally wouldn’t be one. Each room has a floor size of 16’x16’ but since all walls tilt outwards the actual space when standing is increased to 18’x18’ and by the time you look at the ceiling we are at 21’x21’.

For privacy reasons we spaced all ‘rooms’ about 18’ apart. Due to its modular basic principle any formation would be possible. Our V-houses were prefabricated in Puerto Vallarta and delivered by boat and carried up the hill. No machinery, no heavy duty equipment needed.

V Houses at Verana

And, once we had figured out how to build the first one, all others were just a repetition. As much fun it was to setup each house, we have to admit that connecting them was something we hadn’t thought out before hand and at the end it was almost more work to create the connecting walkways, stairs and railings.

The houses are self contained. Solar panels on top, compost toilets and all grey water is treated and reused in our gardens. Since it was an experiment there is room for improvements and definitely a learning curve. Disadvantage, this type of design and construction would have never been approved by any building department in US.

V Houses at Verana

Go here if you are interested in some construction images or send us an email if you would like more details about the project. You can also see more images in the Been-Seen gallery section.

We have been so encouraged by the outcome that we are now thinking of building a few more. This time for our Verana guests. True rooms with a view. Away and above of it all.

 

HL

Back to articles

  • shelley bakhshi

    September 1, 2009

    really impressed with the hooch. i am building a resort and would like to build at least one of these. have a good slope on the land (18 ft downhill from the road). dont understand how the foundation and the toilets are done though. help someone. PLEASE

  • sir jorge

    March 18, 2009

    I am very impressed with the art found in those photos and in real life

  • tommy

    February 9, 2009

    Great pictures of some forward thinking housing. Thanks for posting.

  • jo scheer

    September 14, 2008

    the V-house, aka hooch,- very nicely done. As the original conceptutual artist and builder of the hooch, I am pretty much in awe of this project. I’ve built, and others have built, many hooches around the world, but the Verana V-house complex is now the largest concentration of hooches in the world. Hope to see it one day- thanks, …………Jo
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24242067@N00/sets/72057594098111695/

  • Ana Maria Arcos

    June 7, 2008

    Hi, i´m an architecture student from guayaquil, Ecuador. Right now we are making a project about houses with low impact on the enviroment and i think this is a perfect example. I would like some help about construction details of the V hoouses at verana, specifically the foundation of the project.
    THanks

  • Matt

    February 4, 2008

    I’ve seen these in person…they are hidden off of the main pathway up to Verana. You pop through a small clearing in the foliage and boom! there they are, rising majestically above the forest floor. I did *not* know they were solar-powered, but that makes a lot of sense given their great exposure.

Any comments?