I drew this for fun, and it’s not a tiny house. I wanted to explore designing an off-grid pyramid home in the desert. In many ways it’s a fairly normal American home. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, two levels, and a patio with a pool, but the shape of a pyramid is dramatic and demands to be treated differently.
I didn’t want to poke a hole in the side of the pyramid for a front door. I wanted to make entering the pyramid a bit more of an adventure, so I chose to create a dramatic subterranean entrance that felt like a journey. To enter the pyramid you must first walk toward it, then around it, and view it from three sides. Once you’ve taken in it’s presence, you must descend through a glass hatch covered staircase.
From the bottom of the staircase you pass under the long narrow glass bottomed swimming pool where you’ll find the interior front door of the home.
Beyond this door you climb a short dark concrete staircase and finally find yourself on the lower level.
On the lower level there’s a kitchen, dining room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a laundry/utility room.
The lower living level is windowless except for glass blocks in the ceiling that also form part of the floor of the upper level. Natural light passes through these glass blocks as well as through the stairwell opening to the upper level.
Climbing the stairs to the upper level you turn 180-degrees and arrive in a glass and concrete pyramid shaped room with four giant pyramid windows. In the center of the room is the U-shaped staircase you just climbed. On each of the four walls is minimalist modern furniture and excellent views of the surrounding desert. An excellent place to host a guests.
Truth be told, entering this pyramid wouldn’t be easy or convenient, and may become an annoyance to the occupants. But for those who embrace the ritual value of the journey – passing into the pyramid may become a valued trade-off to the day-to-day convenience of a common door.
Mechanically speaking the pyramid itself would double as a rainwater collection surface catching runoff around its edge and channeling it into underground storage tanks that flank the pool. A photovoltaic solar array would need to be located nearby to power this desert home.
The wall construction should be a combination of concrete and foam, so that the thermal mass of the concrete keeps the interior consistent without the need for much mechanical intervention.
The exterior of the pyramid must be as smooth as possible, almost polished like a mirror. The glass should be semi transparent but mostly reflective to help keep the interior cool on sunny days.
The bedrooms receive natural daylight though the glass blocks in the floor above. The master bedroom has its own bathroom.
The master bathroom has a shower, tub, toilet and sink. The bathroom also receive natural light from the glass blocks in the floor above.
The bedrooms are typical in size and each bedroom has a walk-in closet.
The second bathroom is just off the staircase landing.
This was a fun exploration for my imagination. It’s not a practical house, but then if that was the goal, something the shape of a box would be more effective. A pyramid requires some dramatic solutions and nothing that detracts from the statement it would make.