Compact house designs that make you go wow – Part 3

In part three of the compact house design series, we are featuring a award winning design from the University of Wuppertal. Their design work is for the Solar Decathon Europe 2010 and features a small house area of only 538 sq ft.

Solar Decathlon  compact house design

Smartbox compact house design

The name of this design creation is called the SmartBox. It is a fitting name as a key design concept of this space is the being flexibility. This means movable furniture and multi functional spaces. With these concepts in mind, calling the home a “Smart Box” is not too far fetching. Let’s first look at the house plan to see how everything has been laid out.

Solar Decathon house plan

Smartbox house plan

In this design, the bedroom is packed at the end of the home, between the living/kitchen area and the exterior. Not obvious from the house plan is the bedroom space is a double deck space. The ground floor holds the storage and toilet area while the above is the master bedroom. This clever use of the second story space creates a private heaven for the owners. Below is another view of the entire house.

Smartbox small house design

Smartbox living/kitchen area + bedroom view

From the above view, it is easier to see how the entire house has been designed. The bedroom is rested on the second storey, with the area below it being the toilet and storage area. A key concept here is to pick this end of the room with as much functions as possible so that the rest of the living/kitchen area feels spacious.

Smartbox kitchen design

Smartbox kitchen design

The biggest innovation here is the integration of the exterior space with the kitchen area. Using a metallic polyester fabric, the curtain acts as the moveable divider between the kitchen and the exterior. When both spaces are merged as in the picture above, it creates a spacious and warmth feeling due to the penetration of the natural light and being able to see the exterior. It is also to be noted that the entire kitchen area is movable and can be rolled outside for some al-fresco dining.

Smartbox toilet design

Smartbox house plan – toilet design

The toilet area is designed to be compact as the time spent here is minimal. It also opens to the exterior is the owner desires to do so.

Main takeaways:

  • Compact one area of the room so that the rest of the house feels spacious
  • Moveable furniture can help to transform the same space into different functioning room
  • Explore possibility of combining exterior and interior space
  • Take advantage of a tall house by creating double storey spaces

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