Monday, December 9, 2013

School Bus Converted to Recreational Vehicle

By Kristopher Teubel

For those of us who have been bitten by the bug that is wanderlust, the motivation to pick up a transient lifestyle can be overwhelming at times.  The mode of transportation one may choose can be chosen from many different options.  Each one carries different amenities.  For a long trip, few of us may consider to travel via a school bus.  They are commonly noisy, smelly, and a rough ride.  But just as with many other situations, there are always exceptions.
            Hank Butitta, a graduate in architecture from the University of Minnesota, recently modified a common school bus to accommodate a more refined travel experience.  He stated that the project was a response to his disillusionment from working on imaginary architecture projects that would not be fully realized in real life.  In his design, he included skylights, LED lighting, and reclaimed gymnasium flooring.  All casework and cabinetry in the bus was kept below the bottom of the windows to maximize natural lighting and views from within the vehicle.  The bus gave Butitta approximately two-hundred and twenty-five square feet to work with.
            The emergency hatches were replaced with skylights to allow for top-lighting.  Drop-down translucent insulation panels were installed on the windows to allow for privacy at night.  Much of the  artificial lighting within the bus was installed tucked into a reveal where the ceiling meets the walls of the bus.  Many of the LED lighting circuits are set on dimmer witches as well which adds to the variability and usability of the space.
            He bought the bus itself off of for around three-thousand dollars.  After an investment of approximately six-thousand more dollars the bus was converted into the state that it is in now.  An investment of nine-thousand dollars is a mere fraction of the cost of a mobile home or similar recreational vehicle.
            Beginning in late July, Butitta took his work on the road to test its functionality.  Over one month, he traveled to various national parks and cities with the goal of visiting family and friends.  He even kept a blog pertaining to the trip.  It can be found at
            Mr. Butitta stands as a great example of someone who found the fortitude to fully realize a goal of his.  He channel his resources to create a functional work of art.  The unique character and artistic expression found in his converted bus can be found in so many of its elements.  From the unique lighting scheme, to the cabinetry and furniture the bus exudes the artistry and character of its designer.  Beyond its refined appearance, the bus can  inspire others to take up projects of their own.


All information and photos were retrieved from:

Wang, L. (2013, August 21). Architecture student retrofits school bus into sleek mobile home for the           ultimate road trip read more: Architecture student retrofits school bus into sleek mobile home            for the ultimate road trip | inhabitat - sustainable design innovation, eco architecture, green      building . Retrieved from   sleek-mobile-home-for-the-ultimate-road-trip/

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