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By Mark McConville

WOULD you live in a human-sized bird house hanging sixty-feet up on a cliff-face?


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The architects certainly hope these three-storey, 50 square-metre homes will be the future of housing and a solution to the shrinking space and housing shortage in major cities, despite the fact that for obvious reasons there is no back door.

Incredible images show how the homes would be built onto cliff walls rather than take up space on the ground. Other pictures show the stunning interior of the houses, named NestinBox, which highlights how the small space can still be transformed to look spacious and modern.


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The unique idea is a project in cooperation between Moderna Trähus (Modern Woodenhouses) and the architects Elisabetta Gabrielli and Pontus Öhman.

“In many big cities around the world buildable land is in shortage and commands high prices,” said Michel Silverstorm of Moderna Trähus.

“At the same time, there is a great shortage of housing; the population is constantly increasing, there are problems with finding space for all of us and to buy land and build housing requires a lot of money.



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“However, we need not necessarily build on the ground, we can learn from the animals. Many animals, including birds, build their nests in trees, under roof tiles or in rock crevices – above the ground.

“We, humans, could do the same – build our houses above the rare and expensive ground. We build nesting boxes to give birds somewhere to live.

“A birdhouse is really a small, simple house mounted above the ground, usually in a tree. We could also build large nesting boxes, with several rooms, windows and a good climate protection – nesting boxes for humans.



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“There are, however, better alternatives than to assemble houses in trees. In northern Scandinavia, and other mountainous parts of the world, including in and around the city, there are plenty of cliff walls.

“Cliff walls would function exceptionally well for mounting and attaching small houses if equipped with a load-bearing structure integrated in the frame.”


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One of the architects, Pontus Öhman, explained the idea behind Nestinbox further.

“Nestinbox is a smart and resource efficient wooden house that does not require the land to build on,” he said.



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“The House is a new way to technically and visually create small homes for one or two people in areas that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to build on. Let your thoughts have wings and imagine a life living like a bird.

“In the design process of the small house we have started from the idea of how you usually build a birdhouse: a wooden box at the height, with a simple sloping roof.


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“This is the basic form, which we then modified and developed into a full-fledged home for 1-2 people.

“Two out of four sides have a window. The back has, for natural reasons, only one entrance door. The fourth side could have windows, but it’s not necessary.


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“In this way, you are free to build two mirrored buildings near or even attached to each other without any problems.”

Photo montage courtesy of NestinBox and Studio 3D, Stockholm.