This small modern house is located near Villarrica, Chile and has a view over a valley to the Villarrica Volcano. For a relatively small house, it has a fairly complex and dynamic shape. The house consists of two opposing shed-roofed volumes separated by a small courtyard. Architect Rodrigo del Castillo of Chilean studio DOM designed the two volumes to correspond to the client’s request for a house with a separate flexible-use space.
This small house rises above the trees on a forested hillside. To take full advantage of the available views, architect Keiichi Hayashi stacked the rooms vertically, creating a simple tall box of a house. Working with the slope, he opted for a split-level plan that divides the 96 m2 (1,033 ft2) of space over a total of six levels, each dedicated to a single function. Starting at the bottom, they are the entry foyer, children’s bedroom, bathroom, parent’s bedroom, living room, and kitchen/dining room at the top of the house. The six levels are connected by a switchback staircase in the middle of the small floor plan.
Architect Daniel Martí i Pérez of DMP Arquitectura collaborated with designers Jurgen Van Weereld and Karin Giesberts to produce this small prefab house in the province of Alicante, Spain. Not only did they design it but they built it themselves, using it as a prototype to test and refine their ideas about how to build economical yet stylish prefabricated housing.
Today’s featured small house is a laneway house in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver allows homeowners with alley access to replace their garages with a second small house. The Arbutus is a recently completed project by Smallworks Studios & Laneway Housing. Smallworks specializes in the design and construction of laneway houses and backyard cottages in the Vancouver area. The Arbutus has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms in only 750 ft2 (69.7 ft2) of living space. That sounds like it would be a bit cramped but the home maintains a general feeling of spaciousness.
This small house in the Hollywood Hills was designed in 1959 by legendary modernist architect Richard Neutra. The home has either been very well maintained through the years or lovingly restored, appearing like a time capsule from the 50′s. It contains signature Neutra elements such as a wall of glass, low-slung built-in furniture and a large open masonry fireplace. Neutra had a reputation for paying close attention to his clients’ requirements and for producing very practical designs that combined aesthetic appeal with function and comfort.
The street side, sitting only a few steps from the roadway, is mostly closed with just a window for the kitchen and a line of clerestory windows that bring natural light into the home’s two bathrooms. The other side, with a view of the Hollywood Hills, is largely glass with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall running the entire length of the main living space. A large roof overhang provides shade for those south-facing windows. A similar roof cantilever at the front forms an open carport just off the street.
This cluster of small cabins is located at a new resort, the Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park, in northern Portugal. Pedras Salgadas is a spa town where people go to rejuvinate in its mineral waters. Architects Luís Rebelo de Andrade and Diogo Aguiar collaborated to design the cabins for the resort.
Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park wanted a variety of different cabin layouts to suit the individual sites on which they’d be placed, so the architects designed the cabins using a modular system. Each cabin consists of three modules, a living area module with the kitchen and a sitting area, an entry module that also houses the bathroom, and a sleeping module with a bedroom and flex space. The living and sleeping modules can join to the entry module in a variety of ways. The result is a system that is standardized yet flexible, yielding dozens of possible cabin plans. Each cabin is adapted to its specific setting, adjusted to fit between the existing trees.
River Road house is a small timber frame dwelling in Oregon designed by Nir Pearlson, Architect Inc., a small firm with an interest in green design. They were asked to create a comfortable and energy-efficient home built from sustainable materials. The clients, a couple nearing retirement, also wanted a home that would work for them as they aged, hence the decision to build a single-story house.
With an efficient layout that maximizes views between spaces, the small house feels deceptively large. In reality it is only 800 ft2 (74.3 m2), and that includes two good-sized bedrooms. Vaulted ceilings contribute to the perception of space and openness.
This shingled laneway cottage in Vancouver, Canada is the work of Lanefab Design/Build. A few months ago we looked at another of their projects, an energy-efficient home with Mid-Century Modern styling. This one sits in a neighborhood of heritage Craftsman and Edwardian houses, and so architect Bryn Davidson designed it to fit in, giving it a gabled roof, eaves brackets, shingle siding and appropriate windows. The cool gray paint is nicely balanced by the wood doors, porch post, soffits and fence.