Small House by Woods Bagot – A House at the Cost of an Apartment
New home designs never cease to amaze, as does the Small House featured here, for which Domenic Alvaro of international design practice Woods Bagot won the 2011 World Architecture Festival award for the year’s Best House. The house, which displays a tiny 7 by 6 meter footprint, is, indeed, just about as small as they come. However, the sleek façade clad in poured concrete panels and the contemporary interiors make this a fully functional and very attractive home, where space constraints are not an issue. The functional rooms are piled on top of one another and on top of a typical suburban garage, in a vertical structure. The private areas are windowless on ground level, while the upper section of the five-story structure features common areas which bask in abundant natural light. The stairs in the garage lead up to the master bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. From there on, a set of cantilevered steel steps take the inhabitant up to the kitchen on the second floor.
This example of outstanding new home designs will have the inhabitant pace around the rooms in a circular type of movement, as the cantilevered steel staircase matches an open riser stairway that leads up to a living area on the next floor. There is a study on the terrace level, fully enclosed in glass. It can be opened up onto the roof garden via a set of sliding doors, for uninhibited dialog between indoors and outdoors. The vertical shaft created by the successive stairwells creates an opportunity for efficient natural ventilation, as well as introducing light to the lower, darker areas. The home maintains a private air in a profoundly urban setting thanks to its concrete exterior. Cleverly enough, it allows the owners to live in a typically suburban residence, but for costs no higher than that of a condo apartment.