Size is a subjective thing when it comes to living space. What one may consider as adequate at 2000sq feet another may find largely missing when it comes to some eccentricities, such as game rooms, man caves, and extra guest bedrooms. There is some folk who have adoration for small homes, preferring them to larger mansions, even when money is not a factor. They find small containers to be enough for a family of two with all amenities installed and it’s nothing short of admirable. But even these can be considered a bit too large when we shift our focus to the very tiny. There are people that consider a house should serve only the most basic of functions, and that is to provide shelter. So long as you can sleep in it, then it satisfies the definition. These are some of those houses.
The Eco Cube in Edinburg Scotland
Dubbed the Cube Project, this creation from Dr. Page of the University of Hertfordshire, is a demonstration of “modern and comfortable existence, with the environment at its heart”. Aptly named the Eco-cube because of its 10 cube dimensions, this house is astonishingly well fitted with all the amenities you might need to feel at home- everything from a dining and living area, kitchen, full bathroom, a closet, and even a full-size bed. It is ambitious but it is so environmentally-friendly that it can earn you back some rebates in the UK through the environmental tariffs offered by the government.
House on a Rock in Serbia
Also known as the Drina River house, this tiny one-bedroom house was built out of need instead of want by swimmers who needed shelter over 50 years back. The harsh reality of Serbia’s weather is something it has not been able to withstand too well, but every time it fell, it was rebuilt. It has colorful origins and a romanticized story, which has only helped reinforce its present popularity. It is unarguably the most photographed house in Serbia, and it’s easy to see why. It sits in a serene river, where on the sunniest afternoons, the Tara National Park adjacent to it offers some plush views.
Little House Toronto
When then famous contractor Arthur Weeden found an unused space between two houses in Toronto, he decided to buy it and develop it. What he created was a 27square meter house that is widely discussed, not only thanks to its functionality but also its long history. Despite being accomplished Arthur and his wife decided to live on the property for twenty years before putting it on the market. The tiny house features a bathroom, kitchen, and living room as well. It even has a small backyard that is perfect for relaxing with a good book.
Quay House in Britain
The Quay House in Conway has the honors of being the smallest house in Great Britain, a feat recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records. The house is truly one for the ages, having been built in the 16th century. It stayed inhabited until sometime in the 19th century when it was decided that the house was too impractical for proper habitation. The last owner of the home was a fisherman who passed it on to his descendants, who remain the custodians to this day. The home is not inhabited (and with a floor area of 10 by 6ft it’s easy to see why) but it is a huge tourist attraction, the fact that they are not allowed on the floor above due to instability notwithstanding.
The Love2House in Tokyo
When architect Takeshi Hosaka looked for a place to build a home for his family, a small lot is all he could find. Not one to shy away from the challenge, he acquired it and built the 38sq meter Love2House. This was his second such creation, and his experience showed. Inspired by ancient Roman villas that offered pleasure through modesty, Takeshi used an expansive double-curved roof that makes the interior feel larger than it is. They also allow sunlight to infiltrate the interior, especially on those cold winter days when it is at its scarcest. All amenities that he and his wife enjoy are all included in the floor area.
The Keret House in Poland
There isn’t a great availability of space in central Warsaw, so any available space is quickly turned into a functional one. Vertical units are therefore significantly featured in the city’s real estate landscape. But the Keret house takes the cake when it comes to utilizing its tiny space. Though it is over 30 feet tall, it is only four feet wide at its widest point, which is why it makes our list. The lack of floor spaces means some systems cannot be fitted, but regardless, it still offers a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.
The Soul Box In Germany
When the thought of getting away from it all comes to mind, a small luscious place tucked away in nature is what comes to mind. For three German students, this is something they took literally and built the Seelenkiste, also known as the Spirit Hut or Soul Box. The modular house has just enough space for one and features two levels. There isn’t much to speak of in terms of amenities, only a bed, and a desk, but there is a surprising amount of storage area. The Seelenkiste doesn’t sit on wheels, but it is easily movable thanks to its tiny dimensions.
Cabin in the Woods in Finland
Cabin in the woods is not exactly an inspiring name for a home given the movie history associated with it, but it is a cabin, and it is snugly set in the pristine Finnish woods. It was designed by Robin Flack who did not require permits since the house is so small. He also took only two weeks to complete its construction. The cabin features a deck for outdoor relaxation and a cabin that has large windows ideal for watching the night sky. Inside the cabin has two levels and provides optimal rest after a fulfilling hike.
Small Foldable Home in Beijing, China
Mobile homes are not unheard of, but this moving polypropylene home is something else entirely. It was designed by the People’s Architectural Office as well as the People’s Industrial Design Office and offers a truly portable housing solution that can be moved on a tricycle. At a tiny 33sq foot, the house becomes more livable once unfolded. It has a portable yard as well and can be attached to other similar houses for more space. There are amenities inside including a stove, bathtub, sink, and a water tank. All the furniture available is also foldable to increase its versatility.
Single House by Polish Front Architects
The need to explore underused spaces is what inspired Front Architects to create the Single Hauz design. The micro-home can be built anywhere as it sits on a singular column and has a minimal footprint. It is ideally meant to be set above ground, and look like urban billboards in some settings. A set of stairs provides access, and the livable space is ideal for only one or two people.
These houses showcase that space is a luxury that many homeowners are willing to live without. They also offer a potential and perhaps sustainable solution to the problem that will be overpopulation in the not so distant future. There has also been a growing populace of tiny-homeowners who have completely disregarded the idea of big homes. Regardless of whether they provide a getaway from modern excesses or offer full-time accommodation, small houses are very thought-provoking.