Nowadays, the terms “bigger” and “better” are more often than not deemed synonymous. There are, of course, many exceptions to this generalization, though arguably few can be found in the world of architecture and design.
Read on for a few sample residences around the world that exemplify how a little bit of space can go a surprisingly long way (you just have to be incredibly open-minded—and an utter non-hoarder—to truly appreciate their compact brilliance and beauty).
#1: Jakub Szczęsny’s Keret House
Behold: the world’s slimmest home.
Though classified as an “art installation” for failing to meet Polish building codes, Jakub Szczęsny’s Keret House is remarkably only 122 centimeters (about four feet) across at its widest point.
Named after Israeli writer Etgar Keret (with whom Szczęsny developed the triangular structure), Keret House is a fully functioning residence—one seriously fit for only super slender and non-claustrophobic folks. A two-story iron structure that inhabits the space between two historically opposing buildings—a brick building left over from before World War II, and a modern concrete apartment building built after the conflict—the peculiar property stands out amidst the city’s pre-war landscape.
The severely strait body of the house is raised up on stilts, and a retractable staircase used for entrance becomes the living area when closed. The razor-thin abode, whose interior is entirely painted white, also contains a bedroom, kitchen, and a bathroom. The kitchen can only accommodate a two-beverage refrigerator, and a ladder is used to get from floor to floor. While its two windows do not open, sunshine pours through the walls, which are made of translucent glass panels.
“We deeply believe it will become a symbol of modern Warsaw ingrained in its complicated history,” said Sarmen Beglarian alongside fellow curator Sylwia Szymaniak, both of whom are members of the Polish Modern Art Foundation.
A choice group of young artists have been invited to reside in the super skinny building, as they participate in the creation of artwork dedicated to honoring Warsaw, the Polish capital.
Photos and details courtesy of Dezeen
#2: Shipping Container Module
This “shippable” home in New York City’s West Village measures in at just 320 square feet, and is made up of 70% recycled material.
Sitting on the corner of Charles and Washington streets, the highly creative, prefabricated MEKA Home designed by architects Jason Halter and Christos Marcopoulous is incredibly economical, costing just $100 per square foot.
Looking to nab your very own “shippable” abode? Click here to visit MEKA World’s official website.
#3: Boyarsky Murphy Architects’ Sliver House
Sandwiched between two terraced homes in West London, this four-story, three-bedroom abode is situated on a wedge-shaped lot, measuring 10 feet in the front and nearly 25 feet at its rear.
Outfitted with tinted glass, the residence’s frontage was designed to maximize natural light while maintaining privacy. Well placed skylights and rear windows also bring in light to the narrow home.
Photos and details courtesy of Inhabitat
#4: Micro Mini Livable Cube
Fit for up to two people, the Micro Compact Home—”m-ch,” for short—is shaped in the form of a neat cube that’s only about 77 square feet.
Inspired by the small scale of a Japanese teahouse and the compact efficiency of a smart automobile, the minimal abode was conceptualized by a team of English and German researchers who sought to create a temporary living space for students, businesspeople, and weekenders alike.
Built on the mantra “less is more,” the micro-sized home has gained serious traction in Europe, where it can cost up to€90,000—roughly $120,000—to install, depending on infrastructure and landscaping fees.
The cuboid abode will likely begin to pop up in nooks and crannies all over the United States pretty soon, once the savvy concept manages to garner the attention of American architects and hardcore minimalists.