Humble Homes Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:41:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yamate Street House from Tokyo by Unemori Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:41:28 +0000 This 17-meter (56 foot) tall building serves as a residential property, and as a leather goods store. Set a dense suburb of Tokyo, the house/store has been designed by Unemori Architects. The buildings height and window arrangement is somewhat misleading from the outside, making it look larger than it actually is.

Yamate Street House - Unemori Architects - Tokyo - Entrance - Humble Homes

Called the “Yamate Street House”, the unusual structure is set on a small corner plot. According to the architects it’s “envisioned as a flexible building where functions are only loosely connected to the architecture of the dwelling.”

Yamate Street House - Unemori Architects - Tokyo - Window View - Humble Homes

As an example of this, Yamate Street House’s facade features a repetitive window arrangement that remains more or less the same throughout the height of the building, regardless of the interior rooms. The house contains a total of six floors, each serving its own function.

Yamate Street House - Unemori Architects - Tokyo - Study - Humble Homes

The ground floor serves as the entry point and as a garage for a single car (although it looks to be a tight squeeze). The second floor is used as a leather workshop, where the owner is able to practice their craft and sell their works.

Yamate Street House - Unemori Architects - Tokyo - Living Area - Humble Homes

The next level up (the third floor) features the homes kitchen and dining room. The fourth floor contains the bathroom, and the fifth and final floor acts as the bedroom. The final level of the building is a sheltered roof terrace that features views of the surrounding cityscape.

Yamate Street House - Unemori Architects - Tokyo - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Throughout the building a lightweight steel staircase is used to get from one floor to the next, so it isn’t going to be an ideal housing solution for a lot of people. However, as land in cities becomes rarer and more expensive, people will continue to seek out small, awkward plots like this one and make the best use of the space available to them.

For more Japanese houses check out this small and simple house by the retail company Muji. Or, this functional, minimalist house by Takahashi Maki. See all Japanese houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Shinkenchiku-Sha

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DublDom – A Prefab House by BIO Architects Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:03:03 +0000 This small cabin-like home has been designed by the Moscow-based studio BIO Architects. The cabin, called DublDom (meaning “double house”) is a modular structure that’s prefabricated offsite, in a factory not far from Moscow. Its off-the-shelf system reportedly allows you to build the home in just a day.

DublDom - Double House - BIO Architects - Moscow - Exterior - Humble Homes

The DublDom is intended to be used primarily as a first home, or as a holiday home, and when you purchase one of them it comes with all the bells and whistles. According to the architects the model includes furniture, appliances, sanitary equipment, plumbing and insulation.

DublDom - Double House - BIO Architects - Moscow - Storage - Humble Homes

The structure is composed of a timber frame, between which plenty of insulation is sandwiched. The exterior cladding and roofing looks to be some type of corrugated metal sheeting. The front facade is entirely glazed, from floor to ceiling, providing plenty of natural light for the interior.

DublDom - Double House - BIO Architects - Moscow - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The interior has been finished almost wholly in light wood, from the floors, walls and ceilings, to the furniture pieces. Two skylights are located towards the front end of the home, and a few windows running adjacent to the kitchen and sleeping area found at the back.

The DublDom contains a number of different living spaces, including large living room to the front, a dining area and kitchen, a seating space set in a cozy nook, a sleeping space and bathroom. A large wooden storage unit has been used to provide a degree of privacy between the more public front end of the house, and the back end.

DublDom - Double House - BIO Architects - Moscow - Bedroom and Living Area - Humble Homes

The sleeping area consists of a small corner nook at the back of the house that’s just about big enough for a double bed. A degree of privacy has been provided for by a curtain that’s draped across the opening. The DublDom itself comes in two different sizes, each with fixtures, finishing’s, and furniture.

For more modular housing check out these disaster housing units in New York that boast contemporary interiors. Or, this beehive inspired living unit called HiveHaus. See all modular housing.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: BIO Architects

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Guest House in Chile Features Straw Bale Insulation Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:16:53 +0000 This small guest house from Navidad, Chile has been designed by the Santiago-based firm, AATA Architects. The house has been built with of natural and locally sourced materials, and is topped off with a green roof. The architect’s vernacular approach helps the structure to blend in not only with the wild landscape, but also the local buildings.

Guest House -  AATA Architects - Navidad Chile - Exterior - Humble Homes

AATA were conscious of the building impact on the site and attempted to reduce the cabin’s carbon footprint by introducing a number of energy efficient features. The site and building orientation were the first factors for them to consider, in order to take advantage of the suns path and solar energy.

Guest House -  AATA Architects - Navidad Chile - Bedroom Loft - Humble Homes

The windows have been positioned not only to take advantage of the views, but also to allow for natural ventilation during the summer, and solar gain during the winter. Physically, the house has a footprint of just 280 square feet (26 square meters), and contains two levels, so less materials were used when compared against your average build.

Guest House -  AATA Architects - Navidad Chile - Guardrail - Humble Homes

The roof is partially insulated by a green roof. The wall insulation is composed of mud-coated straw bales, a traditional technique that, thermally, performs extremely well. The bales themselves are protected from the elements by transparent polycarbonate sheeting.

Guest House -  AATA Architects - Navidad Chile - Exterior 2 - Humble Homes

On the inside, the guest house looks like it’s been finished with a white-painted render, with elements of dark wood creating some accents of colour. The ground floor serves as the main living area, with the upper floor acting as the sleeping space, accessible by a small wood ladder.

For more small houses and cabins check out this cluster of cabins from Norway that create a single home. Or, this modern, contemporary small house in Czech by Domesi. See all small houses.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: AATA Associate Architects

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A Garden Studio in Bassum by Serge Schoemaker Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:39:37 +0000 This contemporary garden room has been designed by the architecture firm Serge Schoemaker on the behalf of a client set in Bussum, The Netherlands. The structure has been aptly named the “Garden Studio in Bussum”, and serves as a space for study, guest accommodation and storage.

Garden Studio - Serge Schoemaker Architects - The Netherlands - Exterior - Humble Homes

Completed in 2014 the studio is 323 square feet (30 square meters) in size. According to the architects, one of their first challenges was how to incorporate the relatively large shed into a long, narrow site (it seems the solution was to go with a long, narrow shed).

Garden Studio - Serge Schoemaker Architects - The Netherlands - Desk - Humble Homes

The structure is composed of a simple geometric form with a shed roof. The exterior has been clad entirely in wood shingles, and features several large floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the interior to soak up as much light as possible.

Garden Studio - Serge Schoemaker Architects - The Netherlands - Desk Interior - Humble Homes

Serge Schoemaker states that their aim was to create a contemporary, well-crafted workspace that would integrate itself with the surroundings, which it does thanks to the material choices, detailing, and craftsmanship. The studio required about 2,000 shingles to clad it, each of which was sanded, and painted by hand.

Garden Studio - Serge Schoemaker Architects - The Netherlands - Entrance - Humble Homes

The inside has been clad with white-lacquered birch plywood panels, contrasting sharply with the dark exterior. Access is provided around the middle of the building, and leads straight into the storage area, where the owner’s bikes and other items can be stored. The front end of the studio contains the workspace/study that also doubles as a sleeping space for a guest.

Garden Studio - Serge Schoemaker Architects - The Netherlands - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The study was completed with custom-built furniture, including a floating table in front of the window, a bench with storage drawers, and a vertical cabinet. The light interior combined with the garden views help to create an atmosphere of calm, allowing the user to concentrate on their work.

For more studios check out this shed that rotates and is made from sustainably sourced materials. Or, this slightly unusual getaway by Ben Penna Architects. See all studios.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Raoul Kramer

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A Modern Home the Center of Tours, France Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:14:40 +0000 This modern house has been built in the center of the historic town of Tours, France. Created by the design studio Atelier 100architecture, the building is designed to blend in with the more traditional surroundings so as not to detract from them.

Rue Losserand - Small House - atelier 100architecture - France - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house features three floor levels, each with a 20 square meter (215 square feet) floor plan. According to the architect, it’s composed of a timber frame that was prefabricated, and then transported to the site in order to reduce costs and construction time frames.

Rue Losserand - Small House - atelier 100architecture - France - Ground Floor - Humble Homes

The interior layout is pretty simple with a floor being dedicated to a specific function. The first floor serves as a living, dining room and kitchen. There’s also a ground floor toilet, saving the owners the effort of climbing the stairs. On the next level you’ll find the main bedroom and bathroom (although it doesn’t contain a bath, just a shower). The final floor is split into two smaller bedrooms.

Rue Losserand - Small House - atelier 100architecture - France - Staircase - Humble Homes

Unfortunately it looks like the photographs were taken before the house was completely finished and furnished, but it does give you a sense of the simple layout and construction employed.

Rue Losserand - Small House - atelier 100architecture - France - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

It’s low-profile and simple form help to ensure that the building doesn’t overpower its surroundings, but sits rather discretely among them. Overall, the building cost just 100,000 Euros ($126,650), which isn’t bad for a 61 square meter (657 square foot), three-bedroom house in the centre of a historic district.

For more small houses check out this functional contemporary home from Japan by Takahashi Maki. Or, this inward looking family house in Vietnam. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Brice Desrez

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A Cluster Of Three Tiny Cabins in Norway Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:22:56 +0000 This cluster of three cabins are set in Herfell, Norway. The cabins have been designed by the Oslo-based firm Reiulf Ramsted Architects. The three units have been integrated with one another, but are also able to operate individually.

Micro Cluster Cabins - Reiulf Ramstad Architects - Norway - Exterior - Humble Homes

The cabins are placed around a small central courtyard that serves as a “go-between”, connecting each of them. A steep hill boarders the site on the north-east side that, according to the architects, creates a “spatial interaction, between the natural and built landscape that also results in a beneficial micro-climate.”

Micro Cluster Cabins - Reiulf Ramstad Architects - Norway - Back - Humble Homes

The cabins feature an all-wood exterior, from the wall cladding to the roof finish. The largest of the three contains front façade that’s completed glazed, while the other two units that flank it contain much smaller window units (possibly because they’re more private spaces like bedrooms).

Micro Cluster Cabins - Reiulf Ramstad Architects - Norway - Interior - Humble Homes

Like the exterior, the interior is finished in wood. Its vertical orientation helps to make the space feel larger by drawing the eyes upwards to the cathedral ceiling. The central cabin serves as the main living area, and holds the kitchen, dining area, and living room. There’s also a large wood-burning stove to keep the place toasty during the Norwegian winter.

Micro Cluster Cabins - Reiulf Ramstad Architects - Norway - Side - Humble Homes

The other two units are probably the bedrooms (no floor place was available unfortunately) with their own en-suite bathrooms. There also seems to be a small loft accessed by a ladder, although whether it’s for sleeping or for storage is unclear. All told, the combined floor plan amounts to 753 square feet (70 square meters).

For more small houses check out this inward-looking family home in Vietnam that features a central courtyard that can be open, or closed to the exterior. Or, this small house which hangs over the edge of a cliff in Nova Scotia. See all small houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Lars Petter Pettersen

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Modular Disaster Housing by Garrison Architects Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:21:56 +0000 With hurricanes battering different areas of the United States on a yearly basis, disaster relief has come to play an important role for those affected. In recognition of this, James Garrison and his New York based firm, Garrison Architects, are aiming to create a modular housing system that may serve as a better long-term option.

Modular Disaster Housing - Garrison Architects - New York - Exterior - Humble Homes

Often in transitional situations shipping containers are employed as temporary safe-havens, however they come with their own challenges, largely due to them being designed to hold materials, not people. Modular houses on the other hand, are designed to accommodate people from the outset. According to Garrison, it’s this approach that makes them the better option: “Once you start doing certain kinds of things to shipping containers that they’re not really meant to do, from a structural or environmental standpoint, they no longer really serve that expedient purpose that they were chosen for in the first place.”

Modular Disaster Housing - Garrison Architects - New York - Construction - Humble Homes

Garrison’s modular design includes a kitchen, living area, breakfast/dining area, bathroom, storage space, and come with 1 to 3 bedrooms, making them suitable for families An energy efficient ventilation system is also included, reducing people’s dependence on AC during the summer months. Additional, the unit is made from recycled materials, and unlike FEMA trailers, contains no formaldehyde in the wood work.

Modular Disaster Housing - Garrison Architects - New York - Construction Finish - Humble Homes

The units are intended to be self-sufficient, an important factor during times of crises where water and electricity may not be readily available. In Garrison’s opinion, creating a self-sufficient design will allow people to better manage the utilities they have available to them: “The whole problem with contemporary utilities is you turn on the water, you turn on the electricity, and it’s just there and you don’t give it a second thought. If they’re self-sufficient, then they’re capable of making a dispersed, individualized utility system where we can take responsibility for our waste streams.”

Modular Disaster Housing - Garrison Architects - New York - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The firm has been working alongside the New York City Office of Emergency Management. As a result of their collaboration, the plan and build time has been reduced from 2 to 3 years, to 4 to 6 months. The units themselves can be deployed and installed on site in just 15 hours.

Modular Disaster Housing - Garrison Architects - New York - Living Area - Humble Homes

The city is currently assessing a number of potential sites where the modular houses could be placed, so as to alleviate future disaster relief operations.

For more modular housing check out this modern off-grid house in Victoria, Australia. Or, Mia House, which is built with modular materials in order to cut costs. See all modular housing.

Via TreeHugger
Photos: Andrew Rugge

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Fujigaoka M Apartment in Yokohama by Sinato Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:29:04 +0000 Tokyo architecture studio Sinato recently renovated this apartment in Yokohama to create a brighter, more functional living space for the owners. Called the Fujigaoka M apartment, the interior makes use of open plan design and partitions to close off the different rooms.

Fujigaoka M Apartment - Small Apartment - Sinato - Tokyo - Living Room - Humble Homes

The apartment contains 64 square meters (689 square feet) of usable floor space. The living space is composed of a mixture of materials. The floor has been finished with wood, the walls have been left bare with the concrete structure on show, and the false ceiling looks to be finished with white-painted drywall (or some other equivalent).

Fujigaoka M Apartment - Small Apartment - Sinato - Tokyo - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Sinato have managed to incorporate no less than 11 different spaces and compartments. The entrance is flanked by the toilet, bathroom and a storage. Following this there’s a small kitchen with an adjacent living area. The L-shaped partition has been used to hide two bedrooms (a single and a double), without closing them off from the rest of the apartment.

Fujigaoka M Apartment - Small Apartment - Sinato - Tokyo - Dining Room - Humble Homes

Towards the balcony you’ll also find a dining area, a space for relaxation, and more storage compartments. They’re managed to fit quite a lot into a relatively small space. According to the architects, the partition was a key aspect of the design: “The L-shaped wood wall that serves as the partition between the open space and the sleeping area is a large piece of furniture where you can hang a picture, store books, sit or even roll around.”

Fujigaoka M Apartment - Small Apartment - Sinato - Tokyo - Bedroom - Humble Homes

In apartments you’re typically not able to take advantage of every exterior wall for window openings. In order to capitalise on the available natural light, the partition contains glass panels at ceiling height, allowing them to maintain the user’s privacy while also drawing light further into the home. It also has the effect of maintaining an unbroken ceiling, helping the space to feel larger.

Fujigaoka M Apartment - Small Apartment - Sinato - Tokyo - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

From Ohno: “In order to allow the occupants to live with greater freedom within a very limited floor area, we thought it was much more effective to connect and overlay the various places, creating the whole of the dwelling. This space, which we termed the ‘inner terrace’ throughout our planning, is a wide and bright shared area which becomes a gentle buffer between spaces.”

For more apartments check out Stream Belmont in Seattle that boasts LEED certification. Or, this series of 8 small apartments by Be-Fun Design. See all apartments.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Toshiyuki Yano

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