Humble Homes Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:28:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Happy Cheap House by Tommy Carlsson Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:21:51 +0000 Created by the Swedish architect Tommy Carlsson, this small prefab house is located not far from Stockholm. Carlsson has dubbed the house the “Happy Cheap Home”, and as the name suggests, it has been designed with the cost in mind, and how to reduce it.

Happy Cheap House - Small House - Tommy Carlsson - Sweden -Stockholm - Exterior - Humble Homes

Happy Cheap Home has been developed by Carlsson in an attempt to produce an affordable, and efficient alternative to the common Swedish suburb home. The house itself is certainly striking, it resembles a cube with its corners sheared off, and the corrugated iron cladding gives it a very modern aesthetic (perhaps a little industrial).

Happy Cheap House - Small House - Tommy Carlsson - Sweden -Stockholm - Kitchen - Humble Homes

From the architect: “The concept is both a vision of a better world in the small format, how we live in the future, what we need around us in the housing world and how large a house we really need.” It seems to me Carlsson’s ideology is in a similar vein to that of the small house movement.

Happy Cheap House - Small House - Tommy Carlsson - Sweden -Stockholm - Loft - Humble Homes

All told, the house has 110 square meters (1,184 square feet) of internal floor space spread over two levels. It sits on a 700 square meter site (7,534 square feet) and was built using modular components which were prefrabicated and assembled on site. The prefab modular construction techniques helped with the management of the projects budget, and the final cost came in at 170,000 Euros ($223,250).

Happy Cheap House - Small House - Tommy Carlsson - Sweden -Stockholm - Staircase - Humble Homes

Perhaps the cost seems a little bit on the high side when considering the house’s size, but you have to remember that this is in Sweden, a country known for it’s high cost of living. It’s not like they’ve skipped out on finishes either; the inside of the home is a mix of plywood and white-painted drywall, and the large windows throughout help to make the space feel bright and airy (and they provide plenty of views of the surrounding forest).

Happy Cheap House - Small House - Tommy Carlsson - Sweden -Stockholm - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The ground floor features a living room, bathroom, kitchen and breakfast area, and a more formal dining room. The second floor contains two bedrooms and an area for lounging. The angular form of the exterior is reiterated on the inside, with its sharp wall layouts and walkways.

For more small houses check out the beautifully designed and finished Harpoon House. Or this small house that features a minimalist industrial interior. See all small houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Michael Perlmutter

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Taku-Tanku is a Tiny House Made of Water Tanks Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:09:39 +0000 Taku-Tanku is a tiny portable dwelling built mainly from two 3,000 liter water tanks. The micro-house has been designed by the New York-based design studio, Stereotank and Japanese designer Takahiro Fukada. Stereotank have completed a number of experimental pieces in the past using water tanks, but this is their first attempt at incorporating them into a “little house”.

Stereotank -Taku Tanku - Takahiro Fukuda - New York - Exterior - Humble Homes

The Taku-Tanku is a lightweight structure allowing it to be pulled by bike, or car (or perhaps even a person as some of their diagrams suggest). Being made mostly from water tanks supported by a small single axle trailer, it can also float. The two water tanks are connected to a central component, a cobia wood structure that provides access to the tiny house.

Stereotank - Taku Tanku - Takahiro Fukuda - New York - Components - Humble Homes

Despite its small size, there’s room enough for two or three people on the inside. Although, you won’t find any bathroom, or cooking facilities. They have managed to include a small storage section underneath the cypress wood flooring, and it also features LED lighting, and fans powered by a small solar panel. During the day, lighting is provided by its several “hatches” and windows, which can also be opened to allow for ventilation.

Stereotank -Taku Tanku - Takahiro Fukuda - New York - Interior - Humble Homes

The Taku-Tanku design was developed as a competition entry. Intended to be eco-friendly and constructed from commonly available materials, perhaps it could be used as a transitional shelter, although it seems more likely to be used as a camper. According to its designers the Taku-Tanku is “a sculpture that celebrates the vital role of water in our lives.”

Stereotank -Taku Tanku - Takahiro Fukuda - New York - Elevations - Humble Homes

For more spaces check out Sleep Box, mobile hotel rooms which are being used in airports across the world. Or, this man’s home office which is likely to make you green with envy. See all spaces.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: StereoTank

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A Year-Round Cabin Retreat in Czech Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:34:57 +0000 This angular cabin was designed by the Prague-based studio, FAM Architekti. The architects were responsible for the design and overall delivery of the project on the behalf of a client. The building aims to provide the client with a quiet, secluded year-round getaway, that’s perfect for their hobby – yachting.

Lake Cabin - FAM Architekti - Czech Republic - Exterior - Humble Homes

The site was previously home to another older cabin that was built in the 1970′s. Unfortunately the existing cabin lacked adequate insulation and facilities. And so, it was replaced with this modern wood-clad minimalist retreat, which according to the architects, has an improved connection with the surroundings.

Lake Cabin - FAM Architekti - Czech Republic - Interior - Humble Homes

The exterior of the cabin is wholly clad in timber, and features a sliding timber-slat screen that runs nearly the length of the entire building. Screen serves to provide some additional security when the cabin isn’t in use. FAM Architekti tried to incorporate wood elements into the build so it would “respond to its natural context”.

Lake Cabin - FAM Architekti - Czech Republic - Stove - Humble Homes

The interior of the wedge-shaped cabin is mostly bare (however, it’s likely that the photographs were taken before the client “moved in”). The floor has been finished in what looks like a polished concrete, and the walls have been clad with a light wood.

Lake Cabin - FAM Architekti - Czech Republic - Living Area - Humble Homes

The ground floor is home to a large living area and wood-burning stove, a kitchen and a small bathroom tucked away at the back of the home. The living room sofa can also fold down to accommodate additional guests. It seems odd that so little space has been allocated to the kitchen and bathroom when compared to the living room (they’re on the same scale as a tiny house on wheels)

Lake Cabin - FAM Architekti - Czech Republic - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The steel ladders in the living area lead up to a small sleeping and storage loft with a window that looks out into the forest. To speed up the process of construction, prefabricated techniques were employed. Sections of the house were built off-site and then transported and assembled on-site in just a week and a half.

For more retreats check out this unique holiday destination that allows you to “sleep with the fishes”. Or, this glass igloo hotel that provides you with night time views of the northern lights. See all retreats.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Tomas Balej

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Norwegian Retreat Designed for Extreme Weather Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:30:20 +0000 Completed in 2014, and called The Rabot Tourist Cabin, this retreat is one of many offered by the Norwegian Trekking Association. The cabin has been designed by JVA, and it’s set not far from the Okstindan glacier in Northern Norway, on a site that’s 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) above sea level.

Rabot Tourist Cabin - JVA - Norway - Retreat - Exterior - Humble Homes

The building itself measure just 70 square meters in size (753 square feet) and, given the local weather conditions, it has been designed for strong winds and heavy storms. However, if you can put up with (or avoid) the weather, the tourist cabin features amazing views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.

Rabot Tourist Cabin - JVA - Norway - Retreat - Living Area - Humble Homes

Robot Tourist Cabin is accessible only by foot, or skis – there are no roads that lead up to it. In case of emergency i.e. the destruction of the main cabin, there is a secondary rescue hut found 50 meters (164 feet) from the main building. According to the architect, the cabin has been built utilising local craftsmen and materials.

Rabot Tourist Cabin - JVA - Norway - Retreat - Kitchen & Dining Area - Humble Homes

The exterior of the building is designed to be distinctive, but also in harmony with its surroundings. The sharp edges and form are meant to mimic the jagged edges of the mountain tops in the background. Due to the behaviour of wind and snow, there are no protruding elements. The bulky-looking chimneys were inspired by the topography, and allowed them to avoid using steel cables for support.

Rabot Tourist Cabin - JVA - Norway - Retreat - Exterior Winter - Humble Homes

Despite its rather small floor plan, the cabin is able to accommodate up to 30 people. The dining room and living room at set on opposite ends of the building, separated by a kitchen and storage rooms. Both the dining room and the living room feature amazing panoramic views of the landscape. To keep warm, there are no less than two wood-burning stoves.

Rabot Tourist Cabin - JVA - Norway - Retreat - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

There are no cable lines running electricity to the cabin. Instead it’s generated onsite through a photovoltaic array. Smartly, the cabin the two main areas of the cabin can be sectioned off from one another to improve heat efficiency. The cabin has been named after Charles Rabot, a French glaciologist and geographer who is known to have explored the mountain of Nordland.

For more cabins and retreats check out this amazing flat-pack structure from Germany by Allergutendinge. Or this Finnish family’s small cabin getaway. See all retreats.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Svein Arne Brygfjeld

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Small Apartment Uses Clothes As Partitions Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:34:44 +0000 This modern two story building in Shiga, Japan, serves two different uses. The ground floor acts as a cozy café, whereas on the second floor you’ll find a small and somewhat unusual apartment. The building was designed by architects Sumiou Mizumoto and Yoshitaka Kuga of Alts Design Office.

Higashihayashiguchi - Shop & Apartment - ALTS Design Office - Exterior - Humble Homes

The cafe/apartment is situated along the historic road of Tokaido, which was built to connect Tokyo with Kyoto. The simple street facing facade provides entry into the cafe, which contains an L-shaped seating layout wrapped around the main counter.

Higashihayashiguchi - Shop & Apartment - ALTS Design Office - Shop Floor - Humble Homes

The split level ceiling of the cafe almost acts as a vaulted ceiling. It’s not quite clear why there’s a split level ceiling until you see the apartment, where the change in floor levels serves as a way of differentiating the individual spaces of an otherwise open plan room.

Higashihayashiguchi - Shop & Apartment - ALTS Design Office - Living Area - Humble Homes

The exterior of the building has been finished in a clean white render, with several “boxes” jutting out from the facade. Owners of the apartment can access their home by a separate exterior staircase found on the side wall. It features a small enclosed porch at the top of the staircase.

Higashihayashiguchi - Shop & Apartment - ALTS Design Office - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The apartment itself is a mix of white and wood. The back end contains the more mechanical parts of the house; the kitchen and the bathroom. Whereas the front end of the building is dedicated to the living room. The space in between features a sleek sitting/dining area where the table is an extension of the living room floor.

Higashihayashiguchi - Shop & Apartment - ALTS Design Office - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The right hand side of the living area contains a staggered staircase that leads up into a small sleeping loft. Throughout the apartment, items of clothing are used, instead of partition walls, to divide up spaces or provide some privacy (like in the loft). It’s an interesting idea, but I’m sure not everyone would be happy to have their entire wardrobe on show.

For more apartments check out the Closet House, a small but technology-filled apartment. Or, this 350 square foot tiny house that features pop-out furniture. See all apartments.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Alts Design Office

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Dachi Papuahvili’s Micro Shipping Container Home Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:01:42 +0000 This conceptual design from Georgian architect Dachi Papuahvili, is an interesting take on tiny houses and how to live in them. The concept home is cross-like in form and is intended to provide a living space for a resident member of a church.

Micro House - Skit 2014 - Dachi Papuashvili - Exterior - Humble Homes

The structure of the micro-home is to be built using shipping containers. Papuashvili’s aim was originally to create a retreat or study for a cleric or layman, however the design seems to have developed beyond that into a full blown home.

Micro House - Skit 2014 - Dachi Papuashvili - Study - Humble Homes

The aim is to use reuse, recycle and repurpose as much waste material as possible, starting with the shipping container structure. In Georgia, the usual approach to the construction of monasteries and skits is to build them out of stone – a very labor intensive method. Papuahvili’s skit hopes to provide an environmentally friendly skit with reduced costs for labor and materials.

Micro House - Skit 2014 - Dachi Papuashvili - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The exterior renderings show the finished house as being clad with wood, and the end bays of the horizontal section containing large window openings. The peak of the structure contains a small pitched roof to help avoid pooling of water, which isn’t uncommon with flat roofs.

Micro House - Skit 2014 - Dachi Papuashvili - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The outside of the house features no less than three decking areas – one close to the ground level, and two others found on the roof of the horizontal container. On the inside, the containers have been retro-fitted and are finish almost entirely in wood.

Micro House - Skit 2014 - Dachi Papuashvili - Cross Section - Humble Homes

My favorite area within the home is the small kitchen with the adjacent floor-to-ceiling window, and small space for dining. Religious connotations aside, this is the most interesting and adventurous micro-house concept I’ve come across in a while. Although, I’m not sure how people would get their groceries into the kitchen – a pulley and basket system would be useful. The architect is hoping to complete a prototype by 2015.

For more tiny houses check out the worlds thinnest dwelling, that’s been slotted between two adjacent buildings. Or, this tiny house in Sweden that serves as student accommodation. See all tiny houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Dachi Papuashvili

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Making the Most of a Confined Lot – Frame House Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:07:49 +0000 Set in Nakano-Ku, Tokyo and designed by architecture firm APOLLO Architects & Associates, this small house utilised modern construction techniques to save both time and cost. Completed in June 2014, the house has been built for a young couple.

Frame - Small Japanese House - Apollo Architects & Associates - Exterior - Humble Homes

The structure of the house made use of a FRP (Fibre Reinforced Polymer) formwork, into which in-situ concrete could then be poured. The architects have stated that this allowed them to save on construction costs, when compared to the more traditional forms of construction.

Frame - Small Japanese House - Apollo Architects & Associates - Tokyo - Living Area - Humble Homes

As the house is located in an area which is susceptible to flooding and torrential rain, the architects introduced a step up to the entrance level (which is 800 mm, or feet above the ground level). A single sheltered car park space is found adjacent to the entrance.

Frame - Small Japanese House - Apollo Architects & Associates - Tokyo - Cantilevered Staircase - Humble Homes

The first floor contains the master bedroom and the bathroom, as well as an array of storage closets. The main living area can be found on the second floor, which features an open plan kitchen, dining and living room. The front-end of the living room sports a large floor-to-ceiling window, drawing in natural light and providing views out onto the cityscape.

Frame - Small Japanese House - Apollo Architects & Associates - Tokyo - Roof Terrace - Humble Homes

On the third floor you’ll find a studio space which has been purposely designed for the clients, one of whom is a fashion photographer. The other half of this floor is dedicated to a roof-top terrace that overlooks the street below. There also appears to be a steel ladder embedded into the concrete wall in the terrace, providing access to the uppermost section of the house (most likely most maintenance purposes).

Frame - Small Japanese House - Apollo Architects & Associates - Tokyo - Cross-Section - Humble Homes

Small strip windows are installed along the back end of the building where views are limited, but the openings still provide a means of lighting up the space. According to the architects, construction costs in Japan are on the increase, forcing home owners to seek affordable alternatives, like this low-cost reinforced concrete structure.

For more Japanese houses check out Hiyoshi House, a small and simple home by EANA. Or, this modern and comfortable home by Tofu Architects. See all Japanese houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Masao Nishikawa

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Hiyoshi House – A Small Simple Home by EANA Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:48:40 +0000 Set on a small plot of land at a cross-section between two streets, this compact house in Japan has to find a balance between privacy and window openings. Called the Hiyoshi House, the building has been designed by EANA on the behalf of a young couple.

Hiyoshi House - Japanese House - EANA - Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

According to the architects they had to chief priorities: to create a space that connects the occupants, and also to make it a comfortable environment despite its small size. Judging from the pictures it looks like they pulled it off – the home is bright, cozy and functional.

Hiyoshi House - Japanese House - EANA - Japan - Living Room - Humble Homes

From the outside the Hiyoshi House takes on the form of a cuboid with a few large openings punched out of its otherwise continuous concrete walls. To find a compromise between privacy and natural lighting, the large window on the gable end starts on the second floor of the home, above the street level. The windows also extends upwards to the roof of the double height space, allows it to draw in as much natural light as possible.

Hiyoshi House - Japanese House - EANA - Japan - Staircases - Humble Homes

The first floor of the house is dedicated to the bedrooms and bathroom. Moving up a floor brings you to the main living area which contains the homes kitchen, dining room and living room. There’s also a small toilet tucked away beside the kitchen on this level too.

Hiyoshi House - Japanese House - EANA - Japan - Terrace - Humble Homes

The living room features a double height space with a four meter high ceiling. And the large window provides views of the neighbourhood and the landscape scenery in the distance. The floor is composed of both concrete and wood. On the whole the interior has been designed to be “moderate and relaxing… [with] nothing too sharp nor sophisticated”.

Hiyoshi House - Japanese House - EANA - Japan - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

My favorite aspect of this small house is the upper roof deck, which is accessed by a staircase in the main living area. The roof deck is a secluded space, with a single rectangular opening looking out onto the street below, and a large glass window that looks down into the home itself.

For more Japanese houses check out this home in Kashiba aims to find a compromise between privacy and light in a busy residential street. Or, this small house in Iizuka that features a central living area for the family. See all Japanese houses.

Via Freshome
Photos: EANA

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