A compact and sustainable home for a growing family | Biro Gašperič

A compact home for a young family. The child's room can be divided into two small bedrooms as the family grows. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

This is the home of a couple and their young daughter. When the family decided to settle down in a countryside village in Slovenia, they asked architect Matej Gašperič to design a sustainable and affordable house. Having spent a lot of time traveling around in a VW van, they knew that they didn’t need much space. A small house would also make it easier to meet the clients’ sustainability and affordability goals. The house has two bedrooms now, but the couple wanted to make sure it would accommodate a second child in the future. The architect designed the upper floor so that the daughter’s room can be divided into two smaller bedrooms when needed.

With its modest size, gable roof and traditional siding materials, the house is compatible with its older neighbors. However distinctly contemporary details, such as the mitered corners on the siding, set it apart.

A compact home for a young family. The child's room can be divided into two small bedrooms as the family grows. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The windows are one of the home’s key design features. From the outside, the windows seem to have been placed almost at random, but still each facade is visually balanced. Step inside and the logic behind the window placement becomes clear. Low horizontal windows provide views while seated at the dining table or studying. Bathers get a view too, with wooden louvers maintaining privacy. Some windows are placed tight to the corner, allowing light to reflect off the flanking wall for more even natural lighting. A tall window transforms the stairwell from a bland confined passageway to a bright, inviting space with a pleasant view.

A compact home for a young family. The child's room can be divided into two small bedrooms as the family grows. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The south-facing patio doors allow for passive solar heating in winter, while an overhang prevents overheating in summer. Rainwater from the roof is collected in an 8,000 liter tank below the shed attached to the side of the house, with the water used for the toilets and garden. The floors and walls were prefabricated in a factory, allowing strict quality control over the construction process and ensuring that the family’s energy efficiency goals were met while also minimizing waste. Using the prefabricated panels, the shell of the house was assembled in just a few days.

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Photographs courtesy of Biro Gašperič.

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