Happy holidays to all our readers. We will be taking a few days off and will resume posting in the new year. In the meantime please browse the archives or explore small houses in the following categories. All the best for 2013!
Frank & Mili
This small cottage in Vancouver, Canada shows what can be done in only 400 ft2 (37.2 m2) of floor space. It was built by Smallworks Studios & Laneway Housing. under Vancouver’s laneway housing initiative. “Laneway house” is the term used in Vancouver to describe an independent dwelling built off the alley in the backyard of an existing house, often called an accessory dwelling unit or a backyard cottage in other jurisdictions.
This small house is located near Mar Azul, a coastal village south of Buenos Aires. It was placed among a grove of pine trees, with holes incorporated into the deck and roof overhang to accommodate the existing trees. The goal for BAK Arquitectos was to design a low-cost and low-maintenance summer house.
The clients for this small house in Japan had one key wish, a bath with an outside view. To meet that request on a small lot, architect Naoko Horibe designed a courtyard at the front of the house. The courtyard provides light and fresh air to both floors of the 85.6 m2 (921 ft2) house while maintaining the occupants’ privacy.
Mountain Retreat is a stone and concrete cabin dug into a hillside in the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island. It was designed by Fearon Hay Architects as a year-round retreat for a young family. The entry approach to the small cabin is from above, with only the gravel-covered roof visible. Suddenly a stone staircase appears, leading visitors down to ground level on the downhill side. The low boxy form of the building is visible from there, appearing like a fortified bunker set into the slope. Clad with roughly textured local schist stone, the cabin blends into the rugged landscape.
If you’re in a part of the world where the cold of winter has set in, you might be longing for a tropical island paradise. This appealing beach cottage is located on Utila, an island in the western Caribbean 30 miles off the coast of Honduras. It sits within 150′ of a sandy shoreline, surrounded by coconut palms, almond and banana trees.
The owners of this small family home in Japan wanted a house that would accommodate their family of four as well as their small beauty salon business. A key challenge was to get some open space on the small site while maintaining privacy from the neighboring houses close by on three sides. Architects Studio Velocity responded by designing a saltbox-style home whose asymettrical roof encloses both indoor and outdoor spaces. Several large openings are carved into the steeply-pitched roof to form protected terraces that provide access to light, air and views.
Nestled into a seaside cliff in Cornwall, England is The Edge, a tiny cottage with huge views. A breath-taking vista of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline can be enjoyed from its deck. The cliffs of Cornwall are dotted with small cottages, typically simple one-story structures with shallow-pitched gable roofs. The Edge updates the traditional Cornish beach hut with modern conveniences and high-end finishes. It was designed by local Cornwall architect Bob Woffenden with interior decor by the owners.