December 1, 2022

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Carefully Crafted home

This $32K Backyard Prefab Office Features Walls of Windows

Tommy Truup had been thinking about designing a tiny cabin for a while. An expert in steel fabrication, he was specifically interested in creating modular retreats where people could unplug, something they could install in a variety of settings. Then the pandemic struck, and suddenly there was a dire need for work-from-home spaces that could double as backyard escapes.

MuuwSpace’s backyard prefab office, a roughly 100-square-foot plan, is wrapped in glass and metal and features a wood deck. Prices start at $32,000.

“The original idea came in 2017, when a friend and I talked about the idea of a seclusion cabin or a prefab tiny house where one could be alone,” Truup explains. “But when the virus hit in 2020, everyone began working from home and we wanted to offer an office pod—a place to focus without the distraction of family, kids, and pets—that could be installed in people’s backyards.”

The modular cabin’s three walls of glass provide a wide open view.

The walls and ceiling of the cabin are clad in an oak laminate.

Now, Truup’s prefab company, MuuwSpace, is taking orders from European customers for its roughly 100-square-foot prefab cabin. Starting at $32,000, the one-room escape is distinct in its hexagonal plan, a shape Truup says he borrowed from natural patterns. “Beehives and carbon structures in human cells are the same,” he points out. “It makes it seem like a larger space—we wanted to avoid the feeling of being boxed in.”

Faceted glass walls provide a connection with the outdoors.

Different flooring is available, from heated vinyl tiles to carpeting to wood.

That three of its six walls are floor-to-ceiling glass enhances that effect—and creates a deeper connection with the surrounds, whether that’s a remote piece of property or a backyard garden. “The glass walls fill the cabin with light and let the outdoor environment visually flow through the interior,” says Truup before explaining how the glass they use won’t leave you feeling exposed. “We use an insulated glazing from Saint-Gobain with metallic blue external reflection—it allows for privacy and has great solar control.”

The glass walls bring in ample natural light, but are reflective for privacy and mitigating UV rays. 

Interior finishes come in a few options, but here, Truup used oak laminate for the ceiling and walls. Heated vinyl flooring is an option, and for added comfort and convenience, more features include dimmable ceiling lights, wall-integrated speakers, electrical sockets in the walls and the floor, and an air conditioning module.

An outdoor deck and screen at the entrance of the cabin can be crafted in ash or pine.

That gets back to why Truup wanted to create the prefab cabin in the first place. “Instead of stepping into a tiny house, you’re stepping into nature,” he says. “There are all the features you need for working and creating, but it really functions when it’s placed so that the windows are directed toward the sea, a lake, fields, a forest, or the mountains.” But the cabin is meant to work anywhere, says Truup, even in a city. “It has great sound insulation so that a lively scene becomes an ambient backdrop to a work or relaxation session.”

The black panels are an aluminum composite.

One option to buyers is blue glass, which reflects the surroundings.