In the never-ending yin and yang of the housing industry, we can veer from overblown McMansions to the tiniest of backyard dwellings in the blink of an eye. It’s interesting that some of the most spectacular architecture happens when space is at a premium and true creativity must be employed. Here are six backyard pod structures that are ecologically friendly, interesting to look at and packed with function. 

In the never-ending yin and yang of the housing industry, we can veer from overblown McMansions to the tiniest of backyard dwellings in the blink of an eye. It’s interesting that some of the most spectacular architecture happens when space is at a premium and true creativity must be employed. Here are six backyard pod structures that are ecologically friendly, interesting to look at and packed with function.  


Blob VB3 by dmvA Architects Aptly named, the Blob is a pod structure that looks like a cross between an egg and a white jellybean. Made of polyester, it was designed as an extension to a house. The structure comes with bathroom, kitchen, a bed and shelf-like niches to store belongings. Open the front for a porch-like setting, or simply use the smaller side door to gain access when privacy is needed. May be used as a guesthouse or home office.


Personal Observatory Dome (POD) by Sky Shed Dome The Personal Observatory Dome is likely to be a little slice of heaven for the backyard astronomer. Setting up and taking down expensive telescope equipment is time-consuming; time much better spent enjoying shooting stars and dreaming of a world, far, far away. At 8 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall, the POD has a 360-degree opening dome for unobstructed stargazing.       


Garden Office by Archipod Of all the backyard pods out there, the Garden Office is truly the most aesthetically pleasing. The ultra-modern round ball shape is clad in Western red cedar shingles for a woodsy yet mod feel. This structure is designed to integrate within a natural setting, almost looking like it has been there for centuries, yet features all the modern technological conveniences. Round stainless windows and a pop-top sunroof help bring nature inside. Pods come in two sizes accommodating between one to three individuals.


OfficePOD Want to work at home but lack the extra room? Or perhaps you’d like it to be easier to track direct office expenses for tax purposes. OfficePOD offers customizable structures that will fit your office needs, while allowing you to enjoy that garden you spend all weekend working in. OfficePODs are installed with integrated heating, lighting and ventilations systems with optional air conditioning.   


— Linda Merrill writes for networx.com