Architecture Trend #1 Tiny Homes

As residential real estate prices soar, tiny homes have become increasingly popular. Either simple, off the grid baches or a way to live more sustainably and economically, they frequently provide innovative solutions that pave the way for the future of our cities. Architects around the world are exploring more efficient, space-saving designs. Take a look at some of our favourites.

Images of Crosson bach by Jackie Meiring

Kiwi architect Ken Crosson’s Hut on Sleds in the Coromandel Peninsula is just 40m2 and has two bedrooms but accommodates five or more people for holidays. It takes compact living to the extreme.

The house takes the form of a vertical stack with small living, dining and a kitchen on the ground floor facing the beach and a bathroom and bunk room tucked in behind.

Designed on sleds, it can move around on the site or be taken elsewhere if detached from power and water supplies. A ladder accesses the main bedroom on a mezzanine above the living and there is another climb further up to the roof deck.

An enormous double shutter locks up the hut when the family is not there. When it is raised it forms an awning from the sun. Every available space is given to storage. Walls double as floor to ceiling shelves.

A45 is the first prototype designed by architecture firm BIG for prefab housing start-up Klein. The small black cabin with an angular roofline is constructed in the Hudson Valley in New York.

The design evolved from the traditional A-frame cabin, known for its pitched roof and angled walls which allow for easy rain run-off and simple construction.

The one-storey building has a minimal footprint of 17m2, which includes an open-plan living and sleeping area with small cooktop, bath and a lofted area. A series of triangular walls are made from dark-finished pine that curve up to form a pitch

BIG’s cabin is built from modules that are assembled on site, resting on four concrete piers. This allows owners to construct their tiny houses in remote areas, without the need for heavy machinery.

The Orchid is a luxurious Scandinavian inspired tiny home; a modern take on the gabled farmhouse which includes lots of clever space-saving ideas. It has a a roll-out bed and huge, roll-up garage door that opens the 9.7 metre, 28.7m2 house to the outdoors.

A small kitchen is on a raised platform, grouped with the dining area and table. There’s a sufficient amount of counter space, and just enough room for some storage, induction stove and small refrigerator. Recessed LED backlighting is dimmable and makes a statement, while skylights above bring in light throughout the house.

Maple plywood interiors create a warm ambience. From steps beyond the kitchen are more private areas of the home — a relatively large bathroom with sink, incinerating toilet and shower; and also the lofted sleeping area, with its king-sized bed, accessible via a removable ladder.

Tiny homes offer innovative and more affordable, sustainable solutions to modern living.
Images: Masao Nishikawa, Koji Fujii/Nacasa& Partners

The Casa Amor house by Takeshi Hosaka Yokohama is just 33m2. The house is a rectangular shape to fit into its tiny allotment.

A large curve cuts through the width and depth of the building, connecting to the roof and the sky. The stairs follow the curve, rising from the first to the second floor, creating a main space which is neither in the interior nor the exterior.

Because there is only natural light, the mood inside changes from morning to sunset. Candle light is used throughout, otherwise the owners are content to live in darkness.

Spanish architecture firm Abaton has developed the APH80 series, a 27m2 micro-home ideal for two people that can be easily transported by road.

Abaton’s APH80 house in Spain – Images Juan Baraja

The pod is ready to be picked up and placed almost anywhere.

Dimensions of nine by three metres provide just enough space for two people and also allow the transportable house to be hoisted onto the back of a truck.

Externally the home is clad entirely in grey cement-board panels, creating a monolithic form. However, some of these panels hinge open to reveal sliding glass doors in the front and windows to the sides.

APH80 series combines Abaton’s principles of well-being, environmental balance and simplicity.