Humble Homes Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Japanese House Set On A Retaining Wall Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:59:31 +0000 This house in Hiroshima, Japan, is set on top of a 4 meter (13 feet) high retaining wall. Two design studios, Hidetaka Nakahara Architects and Yoshio Ohno Architects, collaborated together to create the dwelling. The site has a total area of 342 square meters (3,681 square feet), so the clients weren’t short on space when they decided to build here.

House in Miyake - Japanese House - Hidetaka Nakahara Architects - Yoshio Ohno Architects - Hiroshima Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house contains several levels that give it a combined floor area of 93 square meters (1001 square feet). Despite its apparent size, it features rather modest living spaces. Entry can be gain from either the base, or the top of the retaining wall.

House in Miyake - Japanese House - Hidetaka Nakahara Architects - Yoshio Ohno Architects - Hiroshima Japan - Staircase - Humble Homes

The lower level entrance features an exterior sitting area sheltered by the house. A steel staircase leads up to the first level of the home, which contains the bedroom (with a large closet), a room for the toilet and sink, and a separate room for the bath.

House in Miyake - Japanese House - Hidetaka Nakahara Architects - Yoshio Ohno Architects - Hiroshima Japan - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The bathroom appear to look out on adjacent buildings, and features floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise light intake. The room itself is partitioned off, not with a solid wall, but with a single large piece of (presumably frosted) glass. The staircase to the more public living spaces can be found just outside the bathroom.

House in Miyake - Japanese House - Hidetaka Nakahara Architects - Yoshio Ohno Architects - Hiroshima Japan - Bathroom - Humble Homes

On the main final level of the house the walls are finished in white, as opposed to the plywood-clad walls in the level below. The steel structure is also evident throughout, with supporting columns being left exposed in the kitchen and living room. This floor is home to the dining room, kitchen, living room and an exterior decking area.

House in Miyake - Japanese House - Hidetaka Nakahara Architects - Yoshio Ohno Architects - Hiroshima Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The final floor is completely open plan, and features a large amount of glazing from the side-wall to the front of the building, providing panoramic views of the immediate townscape, and the landscape in the distance. Throughout the house elements, like the sink plumbing, have been left on show, a typical trait of contemporary Japanese architecture.

For more Japanese houses check out Be-Fun Design’s modern apartment block. Or this small house that features a river front view and a roof that doubles as seating. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Kenji Masunaga

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Modern Small House in Czech by Domesi Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:26:44 +0000 Set the in Czech Republic, this contemporary two-bedroom house has been designed by Pavel Horákin in collaboration with the architecture firm, Prodesi | Domesi. The house and adjacent summer pavilion has a combined floor area of 133 square meters.

Stribrna Skalice House - Small House  - Prodesi Domesi - Czech - Exterior - Humble Homes

Existing site was originally home to a cottage that was in a state of disrepair. All of the original building was removed apart from the stone basement, which was incorporated into the foundation of the new house, serving as a support for cantilevered areas of the home.

Stribrna Skalice House - Small House  - Prodesi Domesi - Czech - Living Room - Humble Homes

The structure is composed of a modern timber stick-frame system, with some post-and-beam elements as well. The exterior has been clad mostly with timber, and it looks like seam metal has been used for the roofing (as well as the wall cladding for the entrance area).

Stribrna Skalice House - Small House  - Prodesi Domesi - Czech - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The interior is bright and warm thanks to the large windows and timber flooring and exposed joists. The different rooms are all built around a central staircase. On the first floor the living room is the most generously proportioned. It also features views of the garden from its large floor-to-ceiling windows. Beyond the living room, there’s a large sheltered deck area that can be closed off with large wall panels when the house isn’t in use.

Stribrna Skalice House - Small House  - Prodesi Domesi - Czech - Dining Room - Humble Homes

The other living areas on the first floor are considerably smaller than the living room. The storeroom and bathroom are about the same size. The kitchen is small but functional and takes advantage of the ceiling height to incorporate additional storage. The bedrooms on the second story are both larger than the living room. Somewhat strangely, there’s only a toilet and sink on the second floor – no shower or bath.

Stribrna Skalice House - Small House  - Prodesi Domesi - Czech - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The house is oriented southward, allowing the designers to take advantage of sunlight, and a river front view. The project was completed in just three and a half months between the years of 2009 and 2010. The house itself is intended to act as a weekend and summer getaway for the client.

For more small houses check out the Happy Cheap House in Sweden that’s been designed by Tommy Carlson. Or this small house in Slovakia that’s been built for just $100,000. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Lina Németh

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Tiny Off-Grid Cabin by Moxon Architects Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:26:24 +0000 This conceptual tiny off-grid cabin has been envisioned by Moxon Architects. Designed for remote, or inaccessible locations, the cabin is intended to have a small footprint on the landscape in which it’s placed. The architects are working with Wide Open, an organization for social enterprise, in a bid to create these tiny dwellings.

Off-Grid Cabin - Moxon Architects - Exterior - Humble Homes

The units are small enough to be transported by truck and craned into position. Once set up, the structures can act as a weekend getaway, or as a home on a more long-term basis. The architects have stated that they’ve been designed with the aim of connecting the occupants with the landscape in which they’re placed.

Off-Grid Cabin - Moxon Architects - Living Room - Humble Homes

The exterior of the cabin looks to be clad with seam metal on both its walls and roof. It’s accessed by a steel staircase that joins onto a small balcony that swoops round the front of the building. The balcony itself provides a neat little spot for relaxing on.

Off-Grid Cabin - Moxon Architects - Interior - Humble Homes

The interior has been drawn up as a modern, mostly white space. The renderings depict the cabin being wholly clad with light wood. Some of the windows have been framed, and the frame itself doubles as shelving for books and other small items. Towards the front you’ll find a small wood-burning stove that presumably serves as the house’s only source of heating.

Off-Grid Cabin - Moxon Architects - Dining Room - Humble Homes

They’ve managed to enclose a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms in the tiny space. The ground floor bedroom can be shuttered off from the main living area with folding doors. Another bedroom can be found in the loft and is accessed by a set of ladders.

Off-Grid Cabin - Moxon Architects - Loft - Humble Homes

Other parties are also interested in the concept; a cultural program in England views them as a suitable space for artists, where they can develop new ideas and works. Regardless of the reasoning, the off-grid cabin is a simple, stylish and functional dwelling.

For more off-grid dwellings check out this shack on Hinkle Farm that’s been converted into a tiny getaway pad for two. Or, the Pump House, a compact off-grid home in Australia. See all off-grid houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Moxon Architects

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Rotating Shed Made From FSC Hardwood Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:51:48 +0000 This little studio shed has been designed and built by the London-based furniture maker Nathalie de Leval, on the behalf of fashion designer Paul Smith. Not only is the quality of the finish amazing, but the prefab shelter has been made with FSC American hardwood, and it can rotate to follow the sun’s path.

Wood Shed - Studio - Paul Smith - Nathalie de Leval - Exterior - Humble Homes

The two collaborated together to create a relaxing retreat, which would allow Paul to switch off from his busy work schedule. Nathalie is a bespoke furniture designer-maker, whose hands-on approach is somewhat rare in what is a very commercial environment – a trait which appealed greatly to Paul.

Wood Shed - Studio - Paul Smith - Nathalie de Leval - Interior - Humble Homes

Set on the peak of a hill, the shed sports views of the immediate countryside – 360-degree views at that. Its ability to rotate provides a means of chasing the suns light throughout the day, and also changing the view. The exterior of the structure is clad with hardwood timber. One end of the retreat is glazed entirely from base to apex, allowing it to draw in plenty of light.

Wood Shed - Studio - Paul Smith - Nathalie de Leval - Exterior at Night - Humble Homes

The shed is measure 10-by-10 feet; the same size as the designer’s first shop in Nottingham. On the inside, the hardwood cladding, its supporting structure are on show. The space is furnished simply with two chairs, a desk and an overhead lamp.

Wood Shed - Studio - Paul Smith - Nathalie de Leval - Detail - Humble Homes

The simple but stunning shed was built as part of the Wish List Project, a project developed by the American Hardwood Export Council that promotes the use of sustainably harvested hardwoods.

For more studios check out these writers cabins in California by CCS Architecture. Or this beautfully designed and constructed writers studio set in the heart of London. See all studios.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: Petr Krejci

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8 Apartments on a Small Plot by Be-Fun Design Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:45:06 +0000 This set of eight studio apartments in Isogo, Japan are set on a plot of just 98 square meters (1054 square feet). Designed by the architecture firm, Be-Fun Design, the apartments contain between 22 – 27 square meters of usable floor space (that’s about 237 – 291 square feet).

Isogo House - Japanese House - Be-Fun Design - Tsuyoshi Shindo - Roof Deck - Humble Homes

Be-Fun Design are no stranger to the design of small spaces; they were also responsible for the design of this apartment block, which features slightly larger rooms. Like their other works, the architects have incorporated spiral staircases and made use of stacked living spaces so as to maximise on the available floor area.

Isogo House - Japanese House - Be-Fun Design - Tsuyoshi Shindo - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Given the small plot of land the apartments had to be built within close vicinity to one another. Rather than seeing this as a restriction, Be-Fun Design attempted to open up the apartments and create a communal hub that would promote interaction between the different occupants.

Isogo House - Japanese House - Be-Fun Design - Tsuyoshi Shindo - Staircase - Humble Homes

In an attempt to promote relations between the different occupants, the site features common areas that can be used as places of gathering, or to relax. Additionally, each building has its own roof-top terrace, where privacy has been purposely forgone.

Isogo House - Japanese House - Be-Fun Design - Tsuyoshi Shindo - Living Room - Humble Homes

On the inside, privacy has been maintained through the placement of windows, and the arrangement of rooms. Each building block is home to two apartments, with living areas wrapped around one another. In some of the apartments the bedroom is found in a basement below the living room. In others it can be found within the double height space of the living room on a mezzanine level. In both cases the bedroom is accessed by a step ladder.

Isogo House - Japanese House - Be-Fun Design - Tsuyoshi Shindo - Section - Humble Homes

The layout is really quite clever, and the fact they managed to fit eight homes into a space which would typical occupy a single dwelling is testament to its ingenious arrangement.

For more apartments check out this shared-living mirco home in Barcelona called Salva64. Or for more Japanese design, check out this small funky home in Tokyo. See all apartments.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Hiroyuki Hirai

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Shared Micro-Living in Barcelona – Salva64 Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:03:44 +0000 Salva46 is an experimental apartment designed by Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10. The apartment explores the feasibility of shared micro-living. Set in Barcelona City, Spain, the apartment is just 65 square meters (699 square feet) in size.

Micro Apartment - Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 - Barcelona - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The apartment has been divided up according to three main functions: living, working and sleeping. To accommodate shared living, it contains a private unit at either end, with a shared living room, kitchen and dining room found in between.

Micro Apartment - Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 - Barcelona - Dining - Humble Homes

The private units are predominately used as bedrooms, but also feature their own bathroom, a small desk, and storage space. The high ceilings allowed the architects to create an additional space above the double beds; a little getaway that can be used as a reading nook, or a retreat. The hideaways are accessed by wooden ladders and are separated from the bedroom below by shelving used for the storage of books.

Micro Apartment - Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 - Barcelona - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The concept for shared living was driven by the idea of a hybrid living space, one which isn’t unlike staying in a hotel, or renting a room from AirBnB. The architects aimed to create a functional home that was also affordable, given the location.

Micro Apartment - Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 - Barcelona - Nook - Humble Homes

The interior has been modernised, however there are still elements of the apartment’s original features on view, like the brickwork. As with a lot of modern builds and renovations, the walls and ceilings have been finished in white, with the flooring, furniture pieces and fixtures adding some vibrancy to the space. Traditional Spanish materials have also been incorporated, like the floor tiles.

Micro Apartment - Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10 - Barcelona - Layout - Humble Homes

Each end of the Salva46 apartment contains large windows to draw in as much natural light as possible. The light then travels through the translucent bedroom dividers to the central living areas. It’s a smart layout and it would be interesting to find out how well shared living works on the small scale.

For more apartments check out this one in Japan that makes use of clothing as partitions between different rooms. Or this small and stylish apartment in Barcelona by Sergi Pons. See all apartments.

Via Dornob
Photos: Asier Rua

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A Houseboat in Prague by Mjölk Architekti Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:22:55 +0000 In a bid to find affordable housing solutions within the boundaries of expensive cities, people are looking for alternatives to the traditional brick and mortar home. This houseboat is set not far from the center of Prague and is used as a full-time residence by the owner.

Houseboat - Mjölk Architekti - Living Area - Humble Homes

The owner needed to be within the bounds of Prague city center, but wanted to avoid the typical expenses associated with a home in the city. Instead, he turned to houseboats, which have been making a name for themselves as a relatively affordable living solution.

Houseboat - Mjölk Architekti - Czech - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The owner bought an old houseboat that was then restored into the modern clean home it is today, with the help of the architecture firm, Mjölk Architekti. The result of their efforts is a contemporary home with a smart layout that allows for flexible use of space.

Houseboat - Mjölk Architekti - Czech - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The interior walls and ceilings are clad with a light wood, and the furniture pieces are a mix of old and new. The main living area serves as a living room, dining room and a kitchen. The entire length of the side wall has been dedicated to storage, and also creates a little window seat.

Houseboat - Mjölk Architekti - Czech - Loft - Humble Homes

The kitchen itself is rather generous given the overall size of the home; it takes up the opposite side wall of the home, and again features plenty of storage cabinets. The rear section of the home is dedicated mostly to the bathroom and laundry. A stacked washing machine and dryer and used as a divider between the bathroom and the houseboats entrance.

Houseboat - Mjölk Architekti - Czech - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The houseboat’s bedroom can be found in the loft, a secluded private space accessible by ladders and lit by a large skylight. On the outside, there’s a sheltered deck area that looks out over the quay. It also has a small exterior sink and stove, making perfect for parties and get-togethers.

For more houseboats check out this stylish modern home by NRJA in Latvia. Or this floating cabin in Sweden that’s used to provide two brothers with some extra living space. See all houseboats.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Mjölk Architekti

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Small House with a River View in Japan Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:09:12 +0000 Designed by the Japanese architecture firm, y+M, this small house has been built adjacent to the Noto River which it provides views of from within its walls. Set in the Tokushima Prefecture, the house serves a mixture of needs for the owners, both in terms of function and form.

North Garden House - Small House - y+M - Tokushima Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

Given its river setting, the architects attempted to incorporate various “lookouts” into the design of the home. Animals, such as deer, often frequent the site, and so it was of importance to the owners to create a space that would be used not only by themselves, but also the local wildlife. y+M’s solution to this was to include an open garden that was available to people and animals alike.

North Garden House - Small House - y+M - Tokushima Japan - Living Area - Humble Homes

The exterior of the house features a stair-shaped roof that slopes down towards the riverside. The roof serves as a space for the owners and their children to sit, in full view of the river. The generous overhangs also provide a sheltered area on the right hand side of the home, which is probably used as a car parking space. Eave extensions help to control the amount of light, and heat intake throughout the year.

North Garden House - Small House - y+M - Tokushima Japan - Dining Area - Humble Homes

On the inside the house is a mix of dark and light woods, and features both tatami mats and wood floors. The house is split level, with the upstairs being used mostly as a spot for lounging and relaxing. The wall facing the river is glazed along its length, whereas the opposite wall features a few windows, which had been carefully positioned to create views of the outside without compromising privacy.

North Garden House - Small House - y+M - Tokushima Japan - Loft - Humble Homes

The house also contains perimeter glazing that follows the line of the roof. The main floor is largely taken up by the kitchen, off of which all the other rooms are found. They have however, managed to squeeze quite a lot into such a small space. There’s an entrance, shoes closet, pantry, a bathroom with a separate toilet, shower and sink, a parlour, and a bedroom. It’s unclear if the children have their own separate bedroom, or make use of the loft.

North Garden House - Small House - y+M - Tokushima Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

All in all, it’s an unusual home, but it achieves what it set out to do: to provide a space for people which not only serves and functions as a typical home, but also acts as a viewing platform for nature.

For more Japanese houses check out Be-Fun Designs rendition on the apartment block. Or, this small family home in Tokyo that is designed for adaptability. See all Japanese houses. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Nacasa & Partners

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