Too often nowadays, houses look like clones of each other. There's a blueprint for each style, and usually it is followed to a T. Sure, there may be a couple of touches that reflect the owners' tastes and style, but more often than not, it's just that—touches. That's why the house we're exploring today is so special (and for a couple of other reasons, which we'll get around to shortly!). Owned by a soon-to-be-wed young couple and designed by OBBA, this house is a wonderful and distinctively individualistic reflection of the couple and their lifestyle. It wasn't an easy task—the architects only had 50sqm to work with, plus they had the added difficulty of making the house stand out in a densely populated neighbourhood.
Suffice to say, it all worked out wonderfully. Did we mention that it was all done on a very tight budget? A blend of creativity and functionality, this small house is a cleverly-designed house that is bound to inspire.
Had we not told you earlier that this was a 50sqm place, you wouldn't have guessed looking at this, right? One of the undeniable pros of building a vertical structure!
Right from the word go, the architects were faced with the constraints of working and constructing on a rather steep slope. But by levelling the ground, laying a foundation and building a solid brick fence around the perimeter, they overcame the challenge and ensured that the house would be immune to the periodic flooding prone in this area, thanks to heavy rains. Our architects can help you find solutions to problems such as this.
This rendered perspective gives you a first taste of what the house looks like inside, and how each zone is separated (and connected). The entrance, in a departure from the usual, is situated on the upper level, which is reached via a flight of stairs on the side of the house.
The rooms might look small (and of course they are), but they have been designed based on the minimal requirements of the clients whose main brief was to keep it practical yet cosy.
Clever design can make all the difference to a house, especially when you're working with both limited space and budget. Here you can see the relationship between the different areas in the house, but what you can't tell immediately from the picture is that the wooden surface is actually the floor! This is achieved through a subtle change in the levels. A cleverly-designed recess allows one to sit on the floor while looking out onto the kitchen.
The kitchen area itself has been designed as its own space but thanks to the cutout design, the feeling you get is more that of an open kitchen.
The issue of storage is a huge headache when it comes to small spaces. You can't quite live without it, but you can't live with it (strewn all around) either. So you need to be smart about how you organise the space you have. The key is to find a solution that takes up double duty.
Here, the architects have taken it up a notch. A wooden shelf has been accommodated in the space between the outer kitchen wall and the entry. But there's also a smartly-woven in ladder (look closer!) that takes you up to the attic. Et voila!
Speaking of the 'attic', here we are. It's more of a mezzanine really. Either way, here's a space that doubles up as an entertainment zone plus a recreation area where the owners can come and chill or indulge in their hobbies. And yes, there's a beamer that projects movies onto the gabled surface. And notice how by constructing vertically, the architects managed to 'rise above' the other houses, making for an unobstructed view.
If you want to be blown away by more cleverly-designed small spaces, check out The 40sqm home built in 45 days.