Micro living: Nice Architects launch self-sufficient ’Ecocapsule’

Helicopter shaped capsule with interior furniture
A radical alternative to conventional housing, Nice Architects' 'Ecocapsule' is fully equipped with the necessary systems for long-term self-sufficiency
(Image credit: TBC)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? Whatever your answer, Nice Architects (opens in new tab)' new 'Ecocapsule' could make that a reality. 

The spaceship-like container is in fact a mini apartment – a radically downsized alternative to conventional housing – set up with all the luxuries you would expect from a mobile home. (Albeit a far prettier version than its contemporaries.)

Six years in development, the Ecocapsule generates its own clean energy and can be situated anywhere; from tundra to city, woodland to seashore. It started as a small housing unit for artists back in 2008 and has evolved into the self-sufficient pod we see now, fully equipped with the necessary systems for long-term independence. 

Marrying form and function with a modern aesthetic, everything about the Ecocapsule is designed with efficiency in mind. The curved shape allows for the collection of rainwater, which is filtered for human consumption. Solar cells – which cover the roof – and a retractable 750W wind turbine provide reusable energy, charging the onboard batteries. As it complies with shipping container regulations, it is simple to transport. (Though plans to add a wheeled chassis for greater mobility are in the works.) The 8 sq m interior may seem a little less than modest, but the capsule houses all the essentials of a comfortable living space: a folding bed, a workspace/dining area, en-suite bathroom, kitchenette and storage. 

Since being unveiled at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna a few weeks ago, the functional pod has captured the imagination of thousands. Preorders have reached well into triple digits – significant kudos for a product not due to hit the market for another year. 

The obvious benefits of a ready-made home like this clearly and immediately relate to modern urban problems – housing shortages in high rent areas, for example – but it's possible use in emergency situations, like earthquakes, could be far more interesting and significant.

Eco friendly pod on grass

Unveiled at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, the functional pod has captured the attention of thousands. Photography: Tomas Manina

(Image credit: Tomas Manina)

Eco friendly pod sitting on top of mountain

Six years in development, the Ecocapsule generates its own clean energy and can be situated anywhere

(Image credit: TBC)

Modern interior of ecocapsule pod

The project began as a small housing unit for artists back in 2008 and has evolved into the self-sustaining pod it is now 

(Image credit: TBC)

White interior of pod

Within, 8 sq m of interior space contains a folding bed, a workspace/dining area, en-suite bathroom, kitchenette and storage

(Image credit: TBC)

Ecocapsule exterior night view with lit camp fire outside

Marrying form and function with modern aesthetics, everything about the Ecocapsule is designed with efficiency in mind

(Image credit: TBC)

Multiple metal exterior pods on beach

The curved shape maximises energy efficiency and allows for the collection of rainwater, which can be filtered for human consumption

(Image credit: TBC)

Single ecocapsule on grassy field at sunset

Plans to add a wheeled chassis for greater mobility are in the works, but as it stands the pod complies with shipping container regulations 

(Image credit: TBC)

Ecocapsule inside an empty warehouse

Solar cells covering the roof and a retractable 750W wind turbine provide reusable energy, charging the onboard batteries

(Image credit: TBC)

Ecocapsule pictured on a snowy hill

The capsule's effective insulation allows it to withstand cold weather

(Image credit: TBC)

Birds eye view of ecocapsules placed on building terraces

The Ecocapsule could be an ideal solution for one of the biggest contemporary urban problems: housing shortages in high rent areas

(Image credit: TBC)