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Category Archive: Small Low-Cost Houses

The DOGBOX | Patch Work Architecture

Three recent New Zealand architecture graduates wanted to get real hands-on experience with the actual building of a house, something that was not part of their architecture education. At the same time, they… Continue reading

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The Black Shed | Rural Design Architects

The Black Shed sits low and hunkered against the wind on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. The small cottage replaced a dilapidated storage shed on a working croft (small farm). Rural Design Architects designed… Continue reading

Charred Cabin, a place to eat, sleep and read for two | DRAA

Located a couple hours drive into the mountains north of Santiago, Chile, “Charred Cabin” is an appealingly simple vacation retreat. Working with a client budget of just $15,000, studio DRAA had to keep… Continue reading

The Nest | a21studio

“The Nest” is an oasis of nature in a dense urban area. The client, an architecture journalist, wanted a “green” house that could be built on his modest budget. Architects a21studio designed a… Continue reading

A small home in Slovakia based on rural folk houses | JRKVC

The owner of this village house in Slovakia had a dream that many of us share: “I want to live in a small house on a small plot at a reasonable price.” Of… Continue reading

6 prefab boxes make a passive house | Alventosa Morell Arquitectes

This small family house in Spain is composed of six wooden boxes joined together. Its design was the result of two significant challenges. As is often the case, the budget was very tight,… Continue reading

A modest light-filled home in rural Japan | ALTS Design Office

This unassuming house in Shiga, Japan is home to a young family. Architects ALTS Design Office designed the 71.3 m2 (768 ft2) floor plan around the combined living and dining room at the back of… Continue reading

The Blue House | Rusafova Markulis Architects

A young family asked Rusafova Markulis Architects to design an energy-efficient home within their modest budget. Site constraints in the form of setbacks, an easement and two mature trees severely limited the buildable… Continue reading

Treehouse Riga, a compact modular home | Appleton & Domingos

Treehouse Riga is a small modular dwelling with two bedrooms in a compact 44 m2 (474 ft2) floor plan. The tiny house was designed by architects Appleton & Domingos for modular home builder Jular. Treehouse… Continue reading

La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, a low-cost beach house | Charlotte Perriand

Influential architect and designer Charlotte Perriand conceived La Maison au Bord de l’Eau in 1934 for an architectural competition to design a low-cost vacation home for the masses. Though she took second prize,… Continue reading

A stunning “bach” for a New Zealand family | Atelierworkshop

This “bach” is perched on a sand dune on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast. A bach is a modest vacation home in New Zealand, originally referring to a basic shack built from inexpensive or… Continue reading

Sarah House, an affordable green container home

Sarah House Utah is a small non-profit organization intent on creating affordable and sustainable housing for people on low incomes. Jeffrey White was inspired to found Sarah House Utah after witnessing an artist… Continue reading

An ultra-low-cost container house for a family | JYA-RCHITECTS

A family of seven in rural South Korea now lives in a brand new shipping container house thanks to the design efforts of JYA-RCHITECTS and financial sponsorship from the Korea Child Fund. The… Continue reading

A simple rustic retreat in the Czech countryside

A young family seeking a peaceful rural getaway selected a property in the northern Czech countryside. Once part of a farm, the property held the remains of a large barn which had decayed… Continue reading

The Pivot Pad by Ignacio Salas-Humara

The Pivot Pad is a small modern dwelling in the Texas Hill Country. The lot has neighbors on both sides but to the back is a creek and a nature conservation area. The… Continue reading

The Box, a tiny house built by architect Ralph Erskine for his family of four

“The Box” is a tiny house in the woods hand-built by architect Ralph Erskine. He would later go on to design influential buildings in Sweden, England and Canada. In 1941 though, he was… Continue reading

Danchi Hutch by Yoshihiro Yamamoto Architects

Danchi Hutch is a basic box of a house, humble and inexpensive but with a very functional layout. It has a carriage house design, with a small upper floor living area over a… Continue reading

Hamra, a barn-like vacation home by DinellJohansson

Hamra is a vacation home on the island of Gotland in Sweden. The owners had initially wanted to convert a barn into a summer house. When no suitable barn could be found, architects… Continue reading

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