This prefabricated Mini House by Swedish architect Jonas Wagell is built to be suitable for any landscape and any weather. Sized only 15 sqm (approximately 161 square feet), the unit is designed as a compact and affordable alternative to a cottage. It can be shipped to virtually any destination. A sturdy construction is created by prefabricating walls and roof in modules. Also, critical aesthetic details such as the trimless windows in walls and roof and electrical feeds in walls are prepared. Mini House is delivered flat-pack and constructed on-site within a few days. The concept includes a number of customized add-ons, such as a compact kitchen and bath module, a heater kit with chimney, a storage module and a solar power kit to provide electricity.
This small vacation house in Sweden (75 square meters) started with the chair. The owners, Marie Wåhlin and Kenth Kembe, derived the aesthetic of the place from an old Eames moulded chair, bought during couple’s trip to Gothenburg. Another source of inspiration came from the traditional architecture of Gotland – the homeland of the house. Architect Torbjörn Hoeg managed to create a tailored modern solution, based on these classic ideas. The center of a house is a living room, which, thanks to the shape of the roof, has a cathedral feel. Three small bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom enframe the central area (see the floorplan below). There are several green touches, that make the house truly self-sufficient. The steep metal roof houses three solar panels, creating enough electricity to cover the heating and hot water from April to October. 37-centimeter-thick masonry walls hold the heat well, and the limestone floor keeps the house cool during hot months.
(via wave avenue)
This house in Bruxelles, Belgium, did not boast a generous square footage. Which is why the team at Vanden Eeckhoudt-Creyf Architectes decided to expand the place vertically. This contemporary loft was created for a couple with no kids, so the design could get away some adventurous elements. Namely, several sets of minimal floating staircases were used to access each level, and a classic fireman’s pole to easily get down to the bottom floor from any of the upper three floors. How cool is that! The house incorporates a kitchen/dining area, a small living room, a dressing room co-joined with the powder room. A beautiful sleeping loft (my favorite detail) is finishing this dwelling.
The interior of this house near Portland, Oregon looks so open and spacious, it’s hard to believe that the footprint of the entire place is only 540 square feet. Designer Jessica Helgerson and her family bought this property in 2008. The main goal of the renovation was not to increase the square footage, but rather change the floor plan to create more space. A great room includes the kitchen, dining room and living room with large, comfortable, built in sofas that double as twin beds for guests. Drawers under the sofas hold children’s toys and a wall of shelves is a beautiful showcase for a home library. Putting the parents’ bed above the ground was another clever space-saving move. This remodel was achieved using almost exclusively reclaimed materials and repurposed items, found around the property. The floors are local Oregon white oak, and the dining table was made from locally salvaged walnut. The range is a vintage Craigslist find, and the tub was salvaged from a friend’s demolition site…
Small houses are often photogenic, and it is tempting to envision the life of pragmatic minimalism one can lead in those places. But what is it truly like to spend time in a tiny house and perform our usual daily tasks? German popular-science magazine Galileo decided to find out. In this program three journalists endeavored to test three unusual small houses – the house made out of a shipping container, the house resembling a wooden barrel and a smart house. Watch the video to see which concept has legs. I also spotted several interesting space-saving ideas. Enjoy!
(HT for the email Heiner)
The owner of this tiny 25 square meter (269 square feet) house Pascual Alberola and his partner started with a beautiful lot of land near Valencia, Spain. The couple was looking to build a weekend home not far from their city dwelling, and stumbled upon a sheltered valley just an hour and a half south of their city. The only pickle – according to Spanish laws, the agricultural zone (which is what it was) could only have a small toolshed built on it. But the guys were not discouraged and decided to built the most livable shed there can be. And with the help of architects Jorge Cortés, Sergio Gª-Gasco and Borja Garcia of Enproyecto Arquitectura this incredible home was born. Traditional on the outside and modern on the incide, the house includes all essentials. It has a kitchen, leaving area with the fireplace, floating bedroom and a small bathroom with the shower. All necessities and nothing excessive. I’ll say no more – enjoy the beautiful video tour, shot by Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies.
Some may say that the owners of this tiny home, Diana and Michael Lorence, live spartan life. The 12-foot-square dwelling, located in the coastal mountains of Northern California, doesn’t have electricity or hot water. The only heat comes from a fireplace, which also serves as a stovetop for cooking and making tea. The Lorences argue that they lead a ‘life of luxury.’ It all depends, of course, on where we think luxury really lies. If your most treasured things in life are simplicity, peace, unobstructed conversation and the ability to contemplate, this place is luxurious indeed. For 30 years the couple lived in small homes, often guest homes. So, when they finally settled here, they knew exactly what was essential and brought only that.
This 1950s mid century modern Seattle home is only 600 square feet. But instead of increasing the footprint, this redo by architectural bureau Atelier Drome amplified usability of the existing space, which makes it so ingenious. The solutions included lots and lots of built in shelving in very unexpected areas, including one above the shower. I especially liked that these built in shelves do not project into the open area of the home, helping it feel larger. In order to open the space even further – similar materials were used throughout, providing the sense of cohesiveness. Another clever move was to eliminate the wall between the office/second bedroom and the main living space. This increases the feeling of space in the main living area, while providing a direct connection to the backyard. The large desk does double duty as a large dining table for family get-togethers, and the built-in shelves provide the necessary storage without creeping into the office. Additionally, a new sliding glass door was added to the exterior, harvesting every bit of the limited Seattle natural light.
Who doesn’t love a good makeover? Especially if it involves small space creativity. Seattle based artist, designer and welder Michelle de la Vega took an old tired garage and turned it into a full functioning and visually stunning little house. Most fixtures and pieces of furniture were custom built for the project or salvaged, refurbished and repurposed by the designer/owner. The place is only 250 sq. ft., but thanks to clever space-saving solutions, it seems bigger; and there are no compromises in comfort.
Japanese people know a thing or two about living in cramped spaces. And here is the proof that limited square footage doesn’t have to mean undignified living. In this short NHK World special you can see how tiny urban spaces can be turned into spectacular and inspiring examples of modern architecture. Enjoy!