Casa da Praia do Félix rises out of the jungle canopy like a tree house. It rests lightly on a steep hill overlooking a beach near the city of Ubatuba on Brazil’s southeast coast. Architects Vidal & Sant’Anna designed the house to have minimal physical impact on the sensitive site, and minimal visual impact on the neighbors. The house consists of a main building with three bedrooms, plus a separate studio that can be used as an exercise room, art studio or guest room.
This small house in a residential neighborhood of Tokyo has an unusual angled facade that gives the house a different appearance when approached from either side. Architect Hiroyuki Ito of O.F.D.A. Associates designed the floor plan as a rough hexagon. By doing this, the main windows at the front and back are angled to the sides rather than directly facing the houses opposite, improving the views from inside and allowing more light to enter. The angled front facade also let the architect push the house closer to the street while still integrating with the larger frontyard setbacks of the neighboring houses.
Today we visit a small timber framed house in the Czech Republic. It is located on the outskirts of the historic town of Kromeriz, on a long and narrow lot with mature trees. ARCHTEAM worked within the constraints of the lot to produce a design that is closed on the sides but open to the backyard. The architects describe it as being like “a piece of furniture in the middle of the garden”.
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.
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.
The Skyward House is a small cottage designed for a single woman by architect Kazuhiko Kishimoto of acaa. The cottage looks unassuming from the road below but it has a remarkable interior designed to feel much larger than its 67.1 m2 (722 ft2). The architect divided the small floor plan into two distinct zones, outwardly-focused spaces that connect to the surroundings and a dynamic inward-focused space.
The small house in Japan is located in a rural area of scattered houses set among rice fields. It was built for a sushi chef whose hobby is cars. Those interests led the client to request two specific features for architect Mitsutomo Matsunami to include in the design. The first was for a view of his cars from inside the house. The second was for an irori, a traditional Japanese fire pit that can be used for cooking. The house has a very modern external appearance with shed-roofed forms, a living roof on the garage, and an exterior wall that leans outward on one side. However the layout and interior incorporate many elements of traditional Japanese architecture, including the irori.