Hank Bought a Bus (and Then Made It Totally Awesome and Is Driving It Around the Country)

As a final project for his master’s degree in architecture, Hank Butitta bought an old school bus on Craigslist for $3000. Spending about twice that, he converted it into a functioning live/work space complete with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and seating/office. 

Hank chose the project because of it’s practicality. He says, “I also thought it was important to demonstrate the value of full scale iteration in architectural education. There are too many architecture students who don’t understand basic physical limitations of materials or how they can be joined. This project was a way to show how building a small structure with simple detailing can be more valuable than drawing a complex project that is theoretical and poorly understood. I think we need more making in architecture!”


In order to keep everything open, none of the built-ins extend above the window line. Hank remarks, “This allows the space to remain continuous, and maintains clear sight-lines from one end of the space to the other, even while seated. In order to accomplish this I developed a thin wall system integrating structure, insulation, electrical, lighting, and facing, leaving the interior open for occupation. The ceiling is covered in plywood flexed by compression, and the floor is reclaimed gym flooring, complete with 3-point line.”

At night, the bus is lit by dimmable LED strips.

Hank and company are currently driving the bus around the western United States. See pics from their adventures, more photos of the bus, and additional details at HankBoughtABus.com.