Six cool backyard pod structures

Linda Merrill

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 interesting 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.

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 star gazing.

Pods by Eco Pod Design: Hip, modern Pods for rest, play and work come in several different configurations and sizes, depending on need. Relax in a stylish garden pod out in the back forty, or set up a satellite office in a parking lot for additional private workspace.

“Granny Pod” by MEDCottage: The name “Granny Pod” is actually the cute nickname for the MEDCottage, a small, mobile home that can be rented by the month and “parked” in your yard and hooked into your water and electrical. Developed by a minister, the MEDCottage is intended to keep older family members close to home and out of nursing homes when possible. Sized at 12 feet by 24 inches, it includes sleeping, bathing, cooking and living areas, the MedCottage offers a senior or disabled family member a measure of privacy and independence with state-of-the-art technology to monitor the occupant as needed.

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.

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 beautifully 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.

Blob VB3 by dmvA Architects: Aptly named, The Blob is a pod structure that looks like a cross between and 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 end 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.

Linda Merrill writes for Electricians Networx. This article originally appeared at