Architect Roger Sauquet designed this adaptive reuse of an old brick stable in Castellar del Vallés, Spain, not far from Barcelona. The building’s 55 m2 (592 ft2) of floorspace was sufficient for a large living room, an eat-in kitchen with built-in seating, one bedroom and a small office.
The outside of this Japanese home is so nondescript, it could easily be mistaken for a storage shed. Only the erratic window placement on the front facade hints at what is inside. Architect Satoru Hirota has created a small house with a number of surprises. The 109.4 m2 (1,178 ft 2) home has the living area and a guest room downstairs, with three more bedrooms and an office up.
This rustic cabin is on San Juan Island in Washington state. Perched on a hill, it has a commanding view over the islands and waterways below. The 672 ft2 (62.4 m2) cabin was designed by architect David Vandervort. The cabin consists of two 2-storey “towers” joined by a single storey living area. The towers are reminiscent of forest fire lookout towers, with wide overhangs supported by knee braces providing shade for the wrap-around banks of windows.
Homeowner Kol Peterson provided these photographs of his appealing shingled cottage. It is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), a small house built in the back yard of an existing house. ADU’s go by many other names as well…carriage house, laneway house, backyard cottage, granny flat. ADU’s are often occupied by relatives of the property owner, for example allowing an aging parent to live semi-independently but with support nearby. Other ADU’s are rented out, providing an affordable alternative to apartments.
This home, called Small House With a Great View by the architects, also has a great layout. It was designed by A1 Architects for a family with two young children. Located on a hill overlooking a village near Prague, the site offers pastoral views of the countryside below and the nearby Tocník castle. The architects followed the local building tradition of modest gable-roofed houses. While the exterior is attractive and welcoming, it is the interior layout that really caught our attention. The house has only 115 m2 (1,238 ft2) of interior floor area but A1 Architects were able to design a small floor plan that packs in a lot of living space, and it is worth having a look at the floor plans to see how they did it.
The owner of this rooftop residence wanted to downsize from his 3,500 ft2 house. When he learned that the industrial zoning would allow a small “caretaker’s unit” in the marina his company owned, he envisioned enjoying the views from a small loft-like home placed on the roof of one of the warehouses.
One of the advantages of small houses is that sometimes they can go where larger houses can’t. In this case, zoning regulations limited the house to 800 ft2 (74.3 m2). And, the warehouse required significant structural upgrades to support even a house that small.
This very small house is located on a tiny lot in Sanno, a neighborhood of Tokyo. The clients, a couple with no children, asked architect Nobuhito Mori of Studio NOA to design a house for their small lot that would accommodate them and a future child. This 38 m2 (409 ft2) dwelling was his response.
This small shed-roofed house is at the edge of a suburban area in the Czech Republic. It sits on a steep slope facing to the north. Architect Vladimír Balda designed it with a “reverse floor plan”, putting the living area on the upper floor in order to give it a southern exposure. The lower floor was dug into the hillside so that there could be direct walk-out access from the upper floor living room via large glass doors leading to the south-side patio. The windows on the north side were kept relatively small for the sake of energy efficiency. From the photos in the gallery it appears that the best views are of the neighboring forest to the north-east. We would probably have taken better advantage of those views, but the homeowners placed a higher priority on minimizing energy use and keeping their expenses down.