In the age of soaring interest rates and a global housing crisis, one young man in the United Kingdom had a wheelie good idea for getting a roof over his head.
His solution? Skipping the queues, and moving into a bin.
British artist and architect Harrison Marshall was down in the dumpsters when he decided to seize the opportunity, to both raise awareness about those being forced from their homes due to extortionate rent prices in London – and give himself somewhere to stay in the process – by converting an old skip into a tiny home.
The Skip House boasts a whole range of features that one might not expect to find in a place so small – 25 square metres, in fact – with the likes of insulted timber framing, a barrel roof capable of fitting a bed, a kitchen hob – the whole set up including a sink, a stove, and a tiny fridge – as well as a wardrobe.
And although it took a month since Marshall moved himself in, the skip was eventually connected to the grid, allowing him to warm his tiny property. The home doesn’t have its own flushing toilet or even a shower, but it doesn’t phase Marshall, who makes use of such amenities at work or at the gym.
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“With the cost of living at an all time high, and no end in sight, this project is about living for less,” Marshall said of the project on the Skip House’s Instagram, “in one of the most expensive cities in the world, London.
“People across the country are changing the way they live to compensate for the rising cost of basic necessities,” he continued. “Living in a skip isn’t the solution, but rather an exploration and a statement.”
As Marshall, who now pays approximately $90 a week in rent, told Southwark News, “it seems crazy that people work in the city and can’t afford to live here. Or [that] people who have lived here their whole lives can’t afford to stay here, so they’re having to move out.”
He explained that constructing the tiny home was “the only way” for him to continue to live there, and that he hoped to spark a conversation around housing, particularly when it came to unused urban wasteland spots, and how more creative solutions had to be out there.
“It also gave quite a good juxtaposition between what you don’t typically think of as a house and almost the polar opposite of that, which is a bin or dumpster,” Marshall told Business Insider, “and how actually that could be turned into something which is relatively cosy and homely.”
And as for what his neighbours think about his unusual housing venture, he told Southwark News that he had between 20 and 25 of them show up to his skip-warming, “they’re all super supportive.
“People have even seen me doing stuff in the garden and gone to get their tools and come to help out and people around have filled up my hot water bottle.”
This article first appeared on Over60.