Small Houses / A1 Architects

At an exhibit at the Gallery of Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, A1 Architects produced several new housing typologies. In the sampling of 1:125 models, and one 1:1 model, the firm explored the idea of “limitless living in a limited space.” The challenge lay in the ability to make a residence maintain a feeling of openness and functionality, while contained in a small size. We enjoy the work because experimenting with this small housing typology is becoming imperative as our population continues to grow exponentially with land availability decreasing rapidly.

While the models focus on the general idea of compacting living space, the architects explained that each individual concept was “purposefully conceived independently of context and of the residents themselves. Even so, in all of us remained the will to design buildable houses. We wanted to avoid the unachievable utopian dreams of architects.”

The houses reflect the firm’s philosophies as the models show a completeness and attention to designing a new form of house. ” ‘Small’ for us does not mean uncomfortable, inadequate and especially not minimal. It means more inviting, human and cozy.”

Interestingly, the architects have written a poem about each house  to convey “the atmosphere” of each.  For instance, House on the Waves is described as: “stripes of sunlight floating on the surface; lying, dreaming, resting; Lolling in the waves, just observing the sky”  or the Orchard House, “quietly listening; in the morning fog; spring is upon us. and an apple tree, snowing in my bedroom.”

We challenge A1 Architects, and also all those in the profession, to take this starting point and keep developing the compact house to become a fully economical, functional, sustainable and completely architectural entity.

Check out A1 Architects’ projects previously featured on AD.

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Cite: Karen Cilento. "Small Houses / A1 Architects" 02 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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