Micro Homes And Small Space Living is fast becoming more popular and wide spread across the world.
This notion started to become more significant a few years ago, it has continued to evolve and transform considerably since 2009. You might recognise the terms ‘small living’, ‘tiny living’, ‘swiss army knife living spaces’, ‘micro homes’, ‘small space living’ or micro build’, ‘sheds for living’ and ‘morphing apartments’ to name a few.
Ric Frankland, architect based in Manchester challenges the negative perception of small spaces. Frankland the director and originator of dwelle (originally called ‘sheds for living’) have developed a selection of micro-buildings that are highly sustainable. The first prototype of this was built for the Grand Designs exhibition in 2009.
With modest dimensions: 4.95 x 9.55m externally; 4.10 x 7.95m internally (45m²); height: 7m. In an article ‘Shoebox Homes’ the BBC (2011) capture “a typical “Dwelle.ing” has an open-plan feel, with bright and airy rooms, high ceilings, a clever use of sleeping platforms, and tall ceilings that maintain the illusion of space. Micro Homes are also extremely energy efficient, Mr Frankland says.
The success of this type of design demands smart multi-functional know-how. It’s a foundational component that makes small space living a viable option. As great as this is, many of us do not have the privilege to purchase spaces that are meticulously designed. There are however some good ideas that can inspire many to consider ways to maximise living spaces.
(Above) This design is from a project based in Fukushima Prefecture (Japan) designed by architect Kotaro Anzai. Mainly made of plywood and ash for the treds, handles and affixed number-shaped handles organise the cubbies. “We were able to create a clean, uncluttered space, but in a playful way” says Anzi.
This all in one cabinet set in an Upper West Side apartment in New York provides storage, bedroom and home office when unfolded. Above the image of the blue lacquered contraption shows how this cabinet facilitates privacy for the bedroom area, storage and office space when fully open. This renovation by Michael Chen of Normal Projects and Kari Anderson created the aptly named Unfolding House.
The clever flip down, unveiled compartments with slide away compartments swiftly moves in to the space when needed and neatly sits as one unit when not in use as shown below to utilize small spaces .
Yo! Sushi launched the prototype Yo! Home at the 2014 100% design exhibition in London. Simon Woodroffe founder of Yo! Sushi and Yotel says “the family home of the future will feature mechanised floors and furniture that emerge from walls, floors and ceilings at the touch of a button.” See the design come to life with Yo Home’s video of the project. (Below) According to dezeen magazine (2012) “A master bedroom can be lowered down over the sunken seating area of the living room, while a breakfast counter slides out from the walls of the kitchen and a dining table folds up from the floor.”
Some of these designs still seem a little out of reach (especially when the budget is taken into account); however these small space living design solutions have a very tangible response that many would be open to consider, as the trend for micro homes increases. Perhaps more can be found in less, these developments seem to be an appropriate response in providing more living content within smaller spaces.
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Image ADWELLE (2015) dwelle.ing 1 [online image] available from: [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image BDWELL (2012) Top Drawer [online image] available from: http://www.dwell.com/finishing-touch/article/top-drawer#1 [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image CDWELL (2014) Space-Efficient Renovation in New York from: http://www.dwell.com/design-101/article/space-efficient-renovation-new-york#3 [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image DDWELL (2014) Space-Efficient Renovation in New York from: http://www.dwell.com/design-101/article/space-efficient-renovation-new-york#2 [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image EYo! (2014) Yo! Home from: http://yo.co.uk/ [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image FDEZEEN (2014) Yo! Home at 100% Design from: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/09/20/yo-home-at-100-design/ [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image GDEZEEN (2014) Yo! Home at 100% Design from: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/09/20/yo-home-at-100-design/ [Accessed 26.03.2015]Image HDEZEEN (2014) Yo! Home at 100% Design from: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/09/20/yo-home-at-100-design/ [Accessed 26.03.2015]
BBC (2011) Shoebox Homes from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14916580 [Accessed 26.03.2014]
DEZEEN (2012) Yo! Home from: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/09/20/yo-home-at-100-design [Accessed 26.03.2014]