The Youtube channel Never Too Small boasts 2.25 million subscribers — a platform featuring the imaginative manipulation of space in tiny footprints. Videos of micro-apartments, in Paris, London, and beyond, get views in the millions. Clearly, there is a demand for content geared towards living small, as a global housing crisis has precipitated the ever-dwindling availability of affordable, larger-footprint residences in urban areas. Architects, working in this constrained contemporary reality, have been necessitated to make the most out of limited space, configuring sub-40 square-meter floor areas to create a non-claustrophobic spatial experience.
Tiny Houses: The Latest Architecture and News
House Plans Under 50 Square Meters: 30 More Helpful Examples of Small-Scale Living
Designing the interior of an apartment when you have very little space to work with is certainly a challenge. We all know that a home should be as comfortable as possible for its inhabitants, but when we have only a few square meters to work with and the essential functions of the home to distribute, finding an efficient layout is not easy. Following our popular selection of houses under 100 square meters, we've gone one better: a selection of 30 floor plans between 20 and 50 square meters to inspire you in your own spatially-challenged designs.
Elo Studio / Ticiane Lima Arquitetura & Interiores
Architects: Ticiane Lima Arquitetura & Interiores
- Area: 15 m²
- Year: 2020
Manufacturers: Casa Moysés, Criare, Deca, Dpot, Enjoy House, +9
Bivouac Under Grintovec Shelter / Miha Kajzelj architect
Architects: Miha Kajzelj architect
- Area: 14 m²
- Year: 2009
Sisters Houses / Daher Jardim Arquitetura
Architects: Daher Jardim Arquitetura
- Area: 80 m²
- Year: 2020
Manufacturers: Marmoraria MG, Sai Glass, Stark Tecnologia
Archigram and the Dystopia of Small-Scale Living Spaces
Until recently, the origins of the tiny-house movement were of little interest to the scientific community; however, if we take a look at the history of architecture and its connection to the evolution of human lifestyles, we can detect pieces and patterns that paint a clearer picture of the foundations of this movement that has exploded in the last decade as people leave behind the excesses of old and opt for a much more minimalist and flexible way of life.
Micro Living in China: Tiny Houses as an Innovative Design Solution
According to the United Nation’s “The World’s Cities in 2018”, it is estimated that, “by 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 percent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.” Also, between 2018 and 2030, it is estimated that the number of cities with 500,000 inhabitants or more is expected to grow by 23 percent in Asia. China, as the largest economy in Asia, with a GDP (PPP) of $25.27 trillion, is expanding rapidly, both economically and demographically.
With more and more migrant workers coming into the bigger cities in China, it has become increasingly difficult for workers to find an affordable place to live. Some people decide to move away from urban centers and bear with the lengthy commute time, while others are seeking creative design solutions to transform their home into a tiny, functional space to meet their daily needs.
Fill in the Gaps: Infill Architecture in Urban Residual Spaces
In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.
The Laundry Room as an Unnecessary Luxury (or Where to Place the Washer in the Modern Home?)
In residential architecture, there have always been central, indispensable spaces and peripheral spaces more easy to ignore. When designing a home, the task of the architect is essentially to configure, connect, and integrate different functions in the most efficient way possible, necessarily prioritizing some spaces over others. And although today many are designing in ways that are increasingly fluid and indeterminate, we could say that the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are the fundamental nucleus of every house, facilitating rest, food preparation, and personal hygiene. Then meeting spaces and other service areas appear, and with them lobbies, corridors, and stairs to connect them. Each space guides new functions, allowing its inhabitants to perform them in an easier and more comfortable way.
However, fewer square meters in the bathroom could mean more space for the living room. Or, eliminating some seemingly expendable spaces could give more room for more important needs. In an overpopulated world with increasingly dense cities, what functions have we been discarding to give more space to the essentials? Here, we analyze the case of the laundry room, which is often reduced and integrated into other areas of the house to give space for other functions.
Cabanas Tiny House / Duda Porto Arquitetura
Architects: Duda Porto Arquitetura
- Area: 40 m²
- Year: 2016
Manufacturers: Arquivo Contemporâneo, Atermide (Dimlux), Casa Julio, Deca, Foscarini, +10
Tiny House Made from Recycled Materials Begins Construction in Bali
Bali-based Stilt Studios has begun construction on a new prefabricated tiny house made out of recycled Tetra Pak cartons. The team has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to create awareness for the use of recycled materials. Designed to promote local, circular economies, the first prototype is now being built and sales of the tiny house will commence in October this year.