Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


Waste not, want not: Trailer by Invisible Studio

  • Comment

This self-built, relocatable prototype was built from construction waste and locally grown unseasoned timber in Bath


Built with a budget of £20,000, this small living space, which has been entered into the AJ Small Projects Awards, is designed to be legally transported on a public highway and used as permanent or temporary accommodation. 

A removable wheeled bogie slides out from under the steel chassis to enable it to move. The chassis was driven to site, the bogie removed, and then the same bogie used to transport all of the prefabricated timber frames to site for construction, which took place over three months.

See a selection of other entries to AJ Small Projects 2018 in the AJ Buildings Library

18613 7680 18751 ab741110c465f585ea90b7136ce0eb35

Trailer (Equivalent #2) by Invisible Studio

Architect’s view

The trailer is clad in corrugated fibreglass and steel, and internally lined in used but cleaned shuttering ply. Joinery is made from plywood offcuts, including the two staircases. Handrails are made from offcuts of blue rope, left over from our Studio in the Woods project. The building is insulated with scavenged insulation, the doors were sourced from a skip, and the rooflights were ‘damaged’ and thus trade ‘seconds’. Natural light is provided by both gable ends which are ‘glazed’ with interlocking polycarbonate sheets. 

The timber used is all ‘same section’ 125 x 50mm that made the milling much more economical, and is laminated up into structural sections for the cross frames as required. It is the second same section building we have completed (the first being Ghost Barn (Equivalent #1). This method of using timber also ties in with the forest management plan for the effective use of timber in the woodland that Invisible Studio manages as a resource around our studio, and from which our own Studio (Visible Studio) was also built.

The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, usable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self-builder to improvise around or easily adapt. While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.

Piers Taylor, founder, Invisible Studio

18613 7680 18751 cc19c1da76de5443c00f735b774d9d4d

18613 7680 18751 cc19c1da76de5443c00f735b774d9d4d

Structural plan

Project data

Start on site Sep 2017
Completion Dec 2017
Gross internal floor area 40m²
Form of contract Self build
Construction cost £20,000
Architect Invisible Studio
Client Invisible Studio

3095989 3088872 ajspad2018v3p4p

3095989 3088872 ajspad2018v3p4p

How to enter AJ Small Projects

  1. Head to the AJ Small Projects Awards website, register and pay your entry fee
  2. An email will then be sent to you with log in details for the AJ Buildings Library 
  3. Upload your project to the AJ Buildings Library. You will need to provide: 
  • A 150-300 word text describing your project
  • At least eight photographs, five drawings and one working detail to illustrate your project. NB Images should be high resolution and you must be able to give us third-party reproduction rights (for publication in the AJ, AJ Buildings Library and distribution to other publications to promote the awards)
  • Project details including name of practice, name of project, date of completion, total cost, gross internal floor area, client, structural engineer, services engineer, quantity surveyor, main contractor, and other subcontractors and suppliers


  • Entries must have been completed between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2017
  • All entries must have a maximum total contract value of £250,000
  • Projects must not have had significant coverage in the architectural press (if your project has been covered elsewhere, please declare where)
  • Projects must be located in the UK or built by a UK-based practice abroad
  • All entries will be displayed in the AJ Buildings Library


2 February 2018

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.