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Eleven outstanding examples of small spaces made big

If you’ve ever tried checked out the real estate market in densely populated, highly desirable urban areas, you know that it’s not cheap. Space is a rare commodity. In response, more and more designers (and their clients) are reconsidering their spatial needs. Some choose small spaces out of concern for the environment, while others choose to go small simply because their pockets aren’t very deep, however small doesn’t mean dark and cramped. In fact, creative space management for small spaces is a wide and varied art that hasn’t ceased to improve.

29 m² by 3XA

Located in Warsaw, Poland, this apartment was a mere 29 meters squared, however the architects didn’t let that stop them. They took advantage of the high ceilings to create sleeping space on a mezzanine with stairs that double as storage.

Window House by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Window House was built on a plot of land measuring only three by eight meters. With its two large picture windows elevated on stilts, the house bathes in the views of the Sagami Bay in Kanagawa, Japan. All of the living space is hidden in the tiny spaces on either side of the picture windows. The resident just has to remember to put on pants before crossing the living room!

MINIMOD by MAPA Architects

Meet MINIMOD. Twenty seven square meters of eco-friendly living. Although tiny, it packs a big punch with it’s prefabricated design that is easy to customize, easy to transport and is removed with barely a trace. Designed by the Brazilian firm MAPA Architects, the MINIMOD leaves little impact on the environment, making it perfect for quiet contemplation of wild landscapes.

Tiny Project by Alek Lisefski

If DIY is more your thing, then Alek Lisefski’s Tiny Project is what you need. The American web designer decided to create a solution to the soaring price of real estate as well as re-evaluate how much space he really needed to live. He then created a fully functioning home that measures precisely fifteen square meters. Solar panels and a water collection system mean that the house is sustainable in the long term. The home is also fully mobile because who wants to stay in one place these days?

NOA by Jaanus Orgusaar

Estonian designer Jaanus Orgusaar’s NOA garden house is a highly sustainable structure that adapts to several different environments and types of terrain. The building is a rhombic dodecahedron, which means it has twelve faces. It is a form often found in nature, in honeycombs and diamonds. Interestingly enough, since the building’s lack of sharp angles gives the impression of being inside a circe. The designer chose this shape as the perfect shape to fill a void, creating a structure that could fit anywhere.

ÁPH80 Portable Home by Ábaton

Another prefabricated dwelling for two, the ÁPH80 by Spanish architecture firm Ábaton is easily transportable and can be placed just about anywhere. And it only takes one day to assemble it! Measuring twenty seven square meters, the tiny home comes complete with a kitchen/living room, bathroom and double bedroom, and since it is mostly constructed from wood and materials that can be recycled, the design has great potential for long-term sustainability.

17 by Torsten Ottesjö

Anyone who is sane will admit that seventeen square meters is absolutely miniscule. However, Swedish designer Torsten Ottesjö found a way to transform this tiny apartment into a multi-level nest that even has room for guests. The design’s secret isn’t actually a secret. Ottesjö simply optimized space by using the full 3.6-meter height of the apartment and using every inch for intelligent storage solutions. Case in point: each of the stairs is also a drawer!

Permanent Camping by Casey Brown Architecture

Permanent Camping is essentially a very awesome tree fort for grown ups. The two-story building has a footprint of only 3 m by 3 m. It is clad in copper with sides that open up at ground level to reveal the timber and glass interior. The copper also protects the retreat from inclement weather as well as brush fires. Due to its location in a rugged, isolated part of Australia, the design was prefabricated in Sydney before being transported and assembled on site.

Beach House by STUDIOMAMA

STUDIOMAMA designed the Beach House as a testament to simple living. Located in the seaside town of Whitstable, United Kingdom, the shingle-clad home takes full advantage of its diminuitive thirty six square meters. The design centers around a large, open living space with sleeping spaces taking a secondary role. The bathroom and children’s bunk beds are tucked behind the kitchen, while the adults sleep on a mezzanine just above. A large picture window opens on the sea view, making nature an extension of the interior.

M House by Atelier Tekuto

When you live on an island, space constraints are a very real issue. Perhaps this is why Japanese architects are the ultimate masters at space-saving design. M House by Atelier Tekuto is just another example. Built on a tiny lot in Tokyo, the architects used a second floor cantilever to add additional floor space to the tiny structure whose footprint is less than 41 square meters.

Walden by Nils Holger Moormann

Evidently inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, this wooden box invites the user to live outside, close to nature. Along with space to sit or stretch out for some serious cloud watching, this mini-house also comes with a swinging fire cauldron for campfires as well as a birdhouse, flower pot and picnic table. Outdoor living at its finest.


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