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Blue, red, yellow, orange… these tiny eccentric houses are giving cheerful colors to Ossau Village (80 inhabitants), a self-administered village built by ex-homeless persons in the French Basque country.
Ossau Village is at the heart of a community of 130 members which has been accomodating homeless, excluded, or unemployed people for 30 years. They collect, refurbish, and sell second-hand clothes, household appliances, furniture and bicycles, and eat the products of their non-conventional farm.
While renovating its trailer camp, the community has created an eco-building workshop, open to all. Six tiny, ecological and economical houses have already been built with wood, straw or reused materials.
Every one is designed in accordance with the dream of the homeowner — octagonal and half-timbered, on stilts, lop-sided, looking like a drop or a Klondike tent… The areas are between 35 and 45 square meters (377 and 484 square feet). Thanks to wood fiber and ”métisse,” a new insulating material made with recycled clothes, heating is four times cheaper than in the trailers. There is also a log stove, a washing machine with recycled rainwater, a sawdust toilet and Wi-fi. Cost: from 20 000 to 30 000 euros (from $28,300 to $42,400). Quite revolutionary when you think that the community lives solely on the reuse of consumer society’s wastes, without any public subsidies!
One can see a slideshow about each building site on:
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
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