A couple's low-cost home built in just 5 months

Sana Salam Sana Salam
AP Arquitetura Ecoeficiente
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There's narrow homes—and then there's this home that we wouldn't have thought possible had we not seen it ourselves! Located in a large city in the bustling Brazilian state of São Paolo—where space is in short supply—this couple's residence makes the most of the 77sqm available to it. Designed by architecture firm Ariane Pini, the house looks almost awkwardly proportioned from the outside, but it is so cleverly designed that the young owners are not wanting for anything. 

Since the couple were working within a strict budget, they decided to opt for a prefab home that also meant that they could cut down not just on construction costs but on time as well. How drastically they'd be able to cut down the working time, they probably didn't even guess. In the end, the whole process was wrapped up in 5 months! Itching to see what it looks like? Here we go…

Tucked away

Our first glimpse of the house reveals how narrow the house really is. But it's also a rather unusual prefab home, in that the facade looks more customised than is customary. Check out those windows that take up a significant portion of the front, but ensures that the interiors will be flooded with as much natural light as possible. There's even a little tiled pathway to separate the outside from the interiors. 

The entire house was built for a total cost of less than 23,000 euros, would you believe that!

Small living

Narrow, small spaces can quickly appear cramped if you try to accommodate too much in there. Quite often, the trick is to (not just lose the excess) make good use of nooks and other dead spaces, such as the area under the staircase. Here, the architects have integrated the small kitchen under the normally neglected space under the stairs. It is so smartly designed that there's even room for a couple of bar stools and a breakfast counter, which can serve as an extension of the living room space. 

An open-plan layout is a no-brainer here, but what works as a bonus here is the 6-metre high ceiling right at the entrance, which immediately makes the space appear larger. 

A long story

This teeny-tiny house has 9 zones, which are evenly distributed: the study, bathroom, pantry, laundry, kitchen and living room on the ground floor and two suites on the first floor. Here, you see the long corridor that leads up to the living room and kitchen, and is flanked on either sides by the other rooms. A small space living trick is to always minimise the space given to corridors and hallways this way, you can pile on all that additional space onto the bedrooms and living areas. 

View from above

From this view, you get a sense of how carefully this space has been designed, ensuring that not even an inch would be wasted. Fortunately though, this focus on functionality and maximising hasn't come at the cost of aesthetics. The living area exudes warmth and a comfortable vibe that can be, at least in part, attributed to the dark wooden flooring, the pinkish-red focus wall and all that abundant natural light pouring in. 

If you're struggling with a small space, our experts here can give you a lot of ideas. 

Bare bones

The structural skeleton of the house was made out of galvanised steel while the exterior finish is done with cement and the interior with plasterboards. The house only took five months to construct as it was conducted with a Light Steel framing system, which considerably reduces construction time. By opting for a prefab home, the owners also ensured that it would be a more environment-friendly option, as the prior manufacture of the materials (at an offsite) used reduces waste. 

To see an even tinier place and its transformation, check out The makeover of a young woman's 24sqm home.

What did you think of this cosy home?

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