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Big Ideas, Small Buildings: Some of Architecture's Best, Tiny Projects

This post was originally published in The Architectural Review as "Size Doesn't Matter: Big Ideas for Small Buildings."

Taschen’s latest volume draws together the architectural underdogs that, despite their minute, whimsical forms, are setting bold new trends for design.

When economies falter and construction halts, what happens to architecture? Rather than indulgent, personal projects, the need for small and perfectly formed spaces is becoming an economic necessity, pushing designers to go further with less. In their new volume Small: Architecture Now!, Taschen have drawn together the teahouses, cabins, saunas and dollhouses that set the trends for the small, sensitive and sustainable, with designers ranging from Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban to emerging young practices.

Terunobu Fujimori, Beetle's House, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London/TASCHEN Jorge Gracia, Endémico Resguardo Silvestre, Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico. Image © Undine Pröhl/TASCHEN Kota Mizuishi, Riverside House Suginami, Tokyo, Japan. Image © Hiroshi Tanigawa/TASCHEN Olson Kundig, Delta Shelter, Mazama, Washington, USA. Image © Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects/TASCHEN

Terunobu Fujimori's Soft-Hard Zinc House Opens Near Tokyo

A new private house designed by an exceptional Japanese architect, Terunobu Fujimori, has opened. The new building is located in a small provincial town near to Tokyo. Neighbored by typical one-family residences, the newcomer comes to the fore. Different, shiny and apparently soft metallic façade catches the visitor’s eye. 

Yet the scale of the building is much smaller than one might expect. Every height, width and depth are accurately measured and left from a certain point of view spatially stingy: no waste is admissible here.