By Charles Wade-Palmer
A house has been built on the world’s most active volcano.
Aptly named the Phoenix House, a quirky property now listed on Airbnb has been built on ash at the base of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.
Homes do not get much more dramatic than the Phoenix House created by ArtisTree on the world’s most active volcano just four miles from a 100 metre lava waterfall.
The tiny 450-square foot home listed online for around £100 a night is impressively sustainable using solar power, rainwater and regenerative power to run.
Will Beilharz, the designer of Phoenix House said: “We built this house with deep respect for Mother Earth.
“For that reason, you will find the design minimalist, the development footprint light, and the result is one with its surroundings.
“The energy in Hawaii got me thinking about how we live as a culture. For the most part, we live in stationary boxes and complain about the weather changing; yet, in reality, we are traveling through space at 1000s of miles per hour.
“We’re perched on these tiny pieces of rocks in a vast ocean of movement. For centuries our ancestors lived in travelling tribes moving with the seasons.
“Phoenix House and the tiny home movement acts as a symbol of the transnational lives of our ancestors and the ArtisTree team’s commitment to future generations.”
Situated at the base of Mauna Loa volcano on the 1990 Kalapana lava flow, it is a short four-mile bike ride to the 100-foot waterfall of lava flowing into the ocean at one ton a minute.
The new house to be added to all extreme adventurers’ bucket lists has been camouflaged with Shou Sugi Ban siding and recycled rusted corrugated metal to represent the hot lava.
Designer Beilharz was awestruck by the destructive power of nature and the ever-present drive for new life when he saw tiny ferns and coconut trees poking their way up through the crusted surface of past lava flows.
When designing structures, he does not just ask what’s the amortization schedule of this building, but how will everything he chooses from the materials to the energy it uses, affect future generations.
The ArtisTree team had many learning curves in this environment not least struggling to build on a lava field with 30 mph winds.
Beilharz’s designs have received awards from Hospitality Design, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and American Institute of Architecture (AIA).
He and ArtisTree design and build spaces that create vitality both for the people using them and for the land the buildings occupy.