You can find tiny houses all over the world, but we bet you wouldn’t have imagined one in this unusual place.
Gabriella Skollar is a dedicated biologist and director of the Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita, California. She lives right smack in the middle of the conservation center–in a tiny house on wheels, surrounded by gibbons.
The Gibbon Conservation Center houses endangered gibbon species in captive breeding programs, where specialists like Gabriella can learn about them and work closely with them. It is also the center’s aim to educate the public about gibbons, which are one of the most endangered primates in the wild. According to Gabriella, the more people learn about something they can relate to, the more they will strive for ways to protect and nurture it. She studies gibbon vocalization and behavior. She is passionate about her work, and her work is her life. That’s why she feels so lucky living in the midst of it all. She sees herself the guardian of the center. And she doesn’t mind sleeping and waking up to gibbon noises at all. For her, it is simply music.
Home for Gabriella is a tiny house on wheels, measuring 8 x 14 feet. Built in 2008, she got it for $5,000–a steal at a time when the tiny house movement was still unheard of. It’s one of the first tiny houses ever built. It is packed full with character and charm, decorated unabashedly with cute gibbon accents. Instead of a kitchen and bathroom, Gabriella opted for a combined work area and library with a massive open bookshelf filled with books and knickknacks. There’s a cozy sleeping loft above which she shares with her cat. Her home looks lived in and well-loved. Just being inside makes Gabriella happy.
For Gabriella, almost a decade of tiny house living is working well for her. She admits that it’s “not for everybody, but it’s perfect for me”. It’s home and happiness at the same time because it allows her to be in a place she loves the most. And that’s the kind of home a lot of us would love and want to have.
Take a tour of Gabriella Skollar’s happy home amongst the apes.