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Tiny House Lives Large

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A common problem for architects is designing a home as if space is no object, when in reality, the neighbors’ houses press up against the potential house on both sides of the lot.This home, shown at Trends Ideas is the perfect example, of both the problem, and a solution.
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As you can see from the plan, it is a very compact little house, (there’s a smaller story upstairs – all bedrooms). But it looks much larger.
The solution that architect David Ponting came up with was to draw on the Asian courtyard concept, designing a ground-floor glass box, an enclosed upper storey, and high boundary walls that form a courtyard garden.
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The full glass wall is key. “As the ground floor has no solid walls, the eye travels to the exterior boundary walls – this makes the rooms feel as big as the garden itself,” Ponting says. “The height of the walls also means that the homeowners get no sense of the other properties. It wouldn’t matter if the neighbours painted the outside of their house orange, as the homeowners control their own external environment.”

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From the living room, the lap pool along the side of the house becomes a water feature. The house and garden have also been oriented to exploit the sun. The kitchen receives the morning sun from the east, the family room receives the western sun in the afternoon, and the courtyard garden remains sunny for most of the day.
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The orientation helps to passively heat and cool the house. During the day, heat is absorbed by the concrete flooring, where it acts as a heat sink. The heat is released during the night, rising to the second storey via a double-height void. The deep overhangs of the cantilevered upper storey prevent excessive heat in the summer, while allowing the shallower rays of the winter sun to penetrate.

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3 Comments so far to “Tiny House Lives Large”
  1. mydivabydesign - The Diva's Home Says:

    If I had to live in the city, this is the type of house i would like. I love how they even incorporated a pool in such a small space and how it serves as a water feature.

  2. Frank Hanlan Says:

    From the pictures it appears that the courtyard walls are 8' or 9' but in most municipalities in Canada I believe that fences can only be 6'. In northern states and in Canada it appears that the high courtyard walls would block heat gain from the sun in late fall, winter and early spring while possibly overheating in the summer. Unlike in parts of Europe it is difficult to get truly energy efficient windows in the U.S. and Canada – usually requires a special order and especially in the west coast areas if the windows are shipped over the mountains (results in loss of gas between window panes). Lastly I would much rather to have green walls for the courtyard.

  3. Green Home Recap 12.16.10 by Nan Fischer Says:

    [...] Here are some excellent solutions in the design of a small, energy efficient house to maximize space and keep it from feeling too… well… [...]

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