The Outside House Embraces Nature and Outdoor Living in Maui County

Dubbed The Outside House, this project sought to create a dwelling that facilitated living outdoors. It’s been created by the American architecture firm, FLOAT Architectural Research and Design.


Based in Maui County in the US, The Outside House is designed to help the owner establish a connection with the natural environment, and the land she stewards.



The dwelling is composed of two small pavilions within which the basics of day-to-day life are addressed. The tiny structure is composed of just 240-square-feet (22.30-square-meters) and was completed in 2017 with the help of lead architect, Erin Moore.



From the architects: “Inspired by FLOAT’s Watershed writing studio (Dwell, Feb 2009), the client asked for a building that would reinforce her connection with the place. In response, FLOAT designed two facing pavilions that straddle a three-hundred year old lava flow.”


One pavilion shelter’s a deck, an outdoor kitchen, and a hidden outdoor shower. While the other contains a small enclosed bedroom that doubles as a studio. Both are designed to take advantage of the surrounding scenery, framing views of the Pacific Ocean and Kahoolawe Island.


Given that the structures are meant to embrace the landscape, they’ve been create in such a way as to have a minimal impact upon it. Their size meant they only required small footings for anchorage, and they can also be de-mounted if needs be. The structures were prefabricated before being hand-carried to the site and assembled, again, by hand.


From the architects: “The client is a hospice social worker and land conservationist who uses the higher-elevation Outside House as a cool-temperature retreat from work in town… The Outside House is intended to demonstrate the client’s eco-centric worldview, a perspective that is rooted the Hawaiian concept of aloha aina – love of the land.”


For more green homes check out the Sawmill House, which features a reclining roof to soak up the sun. Or, this charming home that’s been created by a couple using recycled materials. See all green homes.

Photos © Olivier Koning

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.