hank bought a bus: architecture student turns bus into a house
hank bought a bus: architecture student turns bus into a house hank bought a bus: architecture student turns bus into a house
aug 20, 2013

hank bought a bus: architecture student turns bus into a house

hank bought a bus: architecture student turns bus into a house
image © justin evidon



hank butitta grew tired of the hypothetical, often paper-choked world of architecture school. so hank bought a bus.



the university of minnesota architecture student since converted the lengthy vehicle into a traveling home and has embarked on a 5000 mile trip across the american northwest. the project grew from an impulsive school bus purchase as butitta entered his master’s thesis project and has become the post-graduate impetus to start his own shop. a testament to the brilliance of spontaneity, the bus was a $3000 USD craigslist purchase that the architect has fitted with beds, tables, ample storage and living spaces as well as a working sink and toilet. while the space is a slight 225 square feet, the mobile architecture can comfortably house 6 people. the dwelling is also both a contribution and response to the ‘tiny house movement’ which advocates for pared-down sustainable living, but is often marred and obstructed by draconian building codes. after learning that his grandfather owned 80 acres of land in the wisconsin dells, hank had been fixing to build a cabin on the property. the idea of a schoolbus-turned-home was a serendipitous opportunity and solution; butitta stated:


‘building code just doesn’t allow for buildings under 600 square feet and requires all sorts of permits for septic and electrical, even if you’re not interested in having those things, and we heard that if we were on wheels we could get away with anything we wanted.’


the result is an exuberant, retrofitted architecture that continuously provides rich, human experiences and testifies to the possibilities of the built form.


see hank and his friends as they travel across the united states on the bus-turned house here.



hank butitta explains the motivations and process underlying the conversion of the bus into architecture
video © justin evidon



view of the traveling home
image © justin evidon



interiors show complete and streamlined storage and full domestic amenities
image © justin evidon



view though the circulation corridor and living area
image © justin evidon



kitchen view
image © justin evidon



timelapse of the final phases
video © justin evidon



a skylight becomes the best seat in the house
image © justin evidon



the aperture provides optimal view and seating
video © justin evidon



the living area segues into the bedrooms
video © justin evidon



the mobile architecture can comfortably house six people
video © justin evidon



view of the driver’s seat
video © justin evidon



yellowstone greenery caught in the windowed sides
video © justin evidon



vehicular elements become exciting architectural features
video © justin evidon




  • it’s pretty much just a canal boat for the road 😛 looks really awesome to live in 🙂

    Calvin says:
  • so? It’s called a”camper”.

    Adam Frank says:
  • So basically he made himself a motorhome? Or a mobile home? I see.

    JT says:
  • Great use of space, and excellent use of materials. Very kool dwelling and its mobile 😉

    Glentruan Furniture says:
  • someone in Forest City Iowa should hire this guy

    dbkii says:
  • I love it, can you pick me up!

    Gabrielle says:
  • And just in time for multiple cities that have banned sleeping/camping in vehicles- including Palo Alto, CA- the home of Stanford University and vast amounts of Silicon Vally wealth. No room for innovation there, or anywhere else that has decided vehicular dwellings = homeless people, which = Bad. Hank, care to roll through there and do a show & tell?

    mkc says:
  • Where can i place an order? great use of space within the bus!

    George Edison says:
  • looks like my VW, the thing is he could have made rooms and ingenious use of this large space; but not even a door for the toilets, no heating, nothing like a house : hope he will spend nice holidays !

    steam says:

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