Ingenious architects manage to put even difficult pieces of land to good use. One of them is Yasuhiro Yamashita (Atelier Tekuto), who built his two-meter-wide "Lucky Drops House" on only 22 square meters in Tokyo (photo).
The Japanese are admittedly masters in squeezing buildings into the tightest spaces. Alan Chu and Christiano Kato seem to have learned a lot from them. For their Casa Box (photo) on Brazil's Ilhabela Island they utilized the tight space between two large rocks and created an impressively functional and attractive house 100 meters above the coast with a view of the São Sebastião Channel. The building replaced a single-story caretaker's house made of natural stone. The white 15-square-meter box which gives the structure its name rests on top of a stone wall. The glazed façade of the bedroom opens up to the sea. On the ground floor, the living room, kitchen and bath get daylight primarily from the entry side, which is covered entirely with matte glass. The scaffolding from the construction was used to make doors, windows, stairs, cabinets and even some furniture, giving the cool structure of the house a rustic and intimate touch.
Some people consider the space above our streets as totally wasted. za bor Architects (Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev), on the other hand, came up with the idea to fit their "Parasite Office" in Moscow's Kozhukhovkaya Street exactly between the first floors of two existing buildings. Like a parasite, the office clings to its neighbors.
The distinctive three-story structure with its polygonal façade will provide 230 square meters of office space. The entrance can be reached via a set of stairs, and the roof is accessible. The interior of the light, bridge-like, steel-framed structure is bright, open and friendly thanks to its polycarbonate skin which can be lit from the inside (right).
The House House designed by Andrew Maynard Architects in Richmond, Australia (photo) breaks with the Australian tradition to build almost exclusively horizontally, which has led to a lot of boring suburban sprawl with mostly single-story single-family houses. For this conversion of an addition to a Victorian duplex terrace house (on the right in the photo), the architects decided to stretch upward. They designed a three-story addition located behind and perpendicular to the original building. Its façade shows the classic silhouette of a traditional house with a chimney. This simple "graffito" in the style of a child's drawing draws the viewer's attention to the unorthodox architecture. With its cedar wood façade and its large windows, the building sets a strong contrast to the brick firewall of the original house. It connects both buildings and leaves on its left side room for a shared courtyard.
The white House K designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects in Tokyo (left photo) looks almost like a caricature of the classic house shape. The proportions are heavily distorted. With a width of 1.8 meters, lengths of 16.5 meters and height of 9 meters, the house looks decidedly unusual. The irregular arrangement of the windows and the pointy roof enhance the building's sculptural character even further.
The first impression is somewhat deceiving, however: The tall, narrow portion of the buildings supplements a second, lower, recessed concrete cube. The architects did not simply split the two-family house down the middle, but arranged it by functions. While the bedrooms and living rooms are in the classic cube (right photo), the spectacular wooden annex houses the "service" functions such as bathrooms and kitchen.
The house designed by Dierendonckblancke Architects in Gelukstraat in the Belgian city of Gent demonstrates how to put a tiny gap between two existing buildings to optimal use while setting a modern accent. The plain gray cuboid is squeezed between the neighboring buildings while providing access to the owner's house behind it. Each nook and cranny in Gent's densely covered center is utilized. The architects added a few small, irritating details to document the building's special character. The windows are not in line with any of its neighbors, and the flat roof is slightly slanted to attract the attention of someone who expects the usual symmetry. The clear structure of the building provides an appealing contract to the surrounding brickwork (right photo).