JKP Sleeper | The 48 S.F. (4.5 MQ) Transportable Bedroom

Huntsville (greater Houston), Texas
Design and Construction | 2004
Client: J.K.P.
Completed Cost: $1,000
Size: 48 S.F. (4.5 M.Q.)

After being turned away by several builders, our client approached us with a small but challenging proposition. They wanted to add an extra bedroom on their covered patio for when their children visited, but there were several tricky aspects.

The first challenge was the budget. Builders had told them it would cost at least $3,000 to add the bedroom, but they wanted the entire project completed for under $1,000. Furthermore, to legally bypass permits (and the politics that come with them) the addition had to be mobile, or “impermanent.” But the most difficult criterion was size. The clients did not want to lose the view of the lush backyard from the house, so the room had to be elegant and obscured from view. This meant it had to be extremely small.

Interested in testing our ongoing research related to smallness and transportability of architecture, we took the challenge.

In order to preserve the view of the backyard from the house and keep the cost as low as possible, we designed a 6’x8’ bedroom (48 S.F. / 4.5 M.Q.), which tucked into the corner of the covered patio without interfering with the wrought iron structure of the house. The bedroom was built off the ground in case of flooding, and designed so that it can be separated from the house and moved if necessary.

The bedroom features a bed, a small desk, a bookshelf, and a bay window. There are two operable windows which allow for breeze, and a vent for exhausting heat. The window on the backside of the room (facing the house) was designed so that when it is opened, it is possible to see through the entire room/bay window to the backyard beyond.

The large bay window and the connection to nature make the unthinkably small space surprisingly pleasant. When the room is not being used for sleeping, it’s a favorite place for talking on cell phones and listening to birds chirp in the trees nearby.

Client Testimonial

Testimonial 1:

"It has always been a dream of mine to have a window seat. I love to read, especially old-fashioned books, and as a young girl I was always envious of the girls in stories and films who had window seats. I used to think about curling up with a book and looking out on the lawn, peacefully reading surrounded by sun and greenery.

I had already moved out of the house for college when my family moved to Huntsville, so I didn't have a room when I came home from school during holidays. Those who know me know that unfortunately, I'm a picky and light sleeper, plus I was just used to having my own space. There's something about coming home from a semester away at school and wanting something to call "my room," and with six of us in the family the house could get a little crowded sometimes.

I loved the room Lukas designed! It was cozy, homey, and comfortable. The lightness of the wood walls, the wonderful window seat that looked out upon our backyard, and the built-in bookshelf all made the room feel roomy and open despite its small size. My childhood dream of a window seat had come true! On sunny mornings I would sit with a book, feeling like I was in a garden and watching our dog as she chased squirrels, chased air, sunned herself, or nosed tentatively around the rabbit's cage. When the weather was cool I loved opening the vents to let fresh air in, and when it rained I loved the smell of freshness that came in. At night I closed the window shade and slept soundly, in control of the temperature through the window a/c unit or space heater, undisturbed by noise."

-daughter for whom the JKP sleeper was built


Testimonial 2:

"When our children moved off to college, we bought a smaller home. We really like the house, and we have the biggest backyard and prettiest view in the neighborhood. The only problem with our house was that when the kids came home during holidays or summer breaks, the house was too crowded.

We needed an extra room, but we didn't see any way to add one. The only way to do it without breaking down outside walls or changing the roof was to put the extra bedroom on the back patio. But that would block the backyard view from the house, and there was no way my husband would allow that.

So for years we did nothing. Money was always tight; we couldn't afford to do anything major. The more builders we consulted, the more impossible it seemed. And the prices they quoted were way out of our range.

Lukas was working on some very unique houses in Huntsville at the time, so eventually we asked him about our problem. He listened to everything my husband and I had to say, and said he'd consider it. Within a month we had our little extra bedroom. We still can't believe it.

We really like the room, and since reception is best in the backyard (and it's hard to find privacy in the house), it's become the room for making phone calls. It blocks only a small part of our view, and Lukas even designed it so that when it's empty, the back wall can be opened up allowing us to look through the room and recapture the view that was lost. My husband really likes that. I like that now my kids can come home and visit us."


Lukas Petrash Adia Design Company Affordable Design Innovation Architecture International Prefabrication Adia Adia Lukas Petrash Adia Design Company Affordable Design Innovation Architecture International Prefabrication Adia Adia