Metapod backyard tiny studio delivers best of NY’s urban-rural

Inspired by a large window he salvaged from the street, Jerome Levin set out to build his children a playhouse in the backyard of his Roslyn Harbor, New York home. Not wanting to build something his kids would outgrow, he built a 125-square-foot, permitted studio with a sleeping loft that is part guesthouse, part fort and part garden retreat.

It took Levin a year and half working weekends to finish what he calls the “metapod”. “Pod seems to suggest a small confined space, storage or living space,” he explains. “And meta means ‘beyond’, so it suggests something that’s turned toward the future, something that doesn’t really exist, some kind of a new concept, that’s what I meant by ‘metapod’”.

His children use it for homework, play and slumber parties. The family use it for family dinners and movie nights. Levin uses it as an escape pod from a “bombastic” world: “just to try to be in harmony with nature. I love to interact with the birds, the wind, the sky, all these things you take for granted”.

Levin sees the possibilities for his L-shaped design, arranged to maximize the 100-square-foot footprint while providing separation between spaces, beyond the backyard. “Ultimately this would really be great for college campuses, I can just envision student accommodations or entire villages like this where you have metapods that are interlocked with one another, reverse footprint because it has an L shape, reversed and have communal spaces- kitchens and bathrooms- right in the middle that can be shared.”

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