The Best of Small Spaces

written by:
May 23, 2009

Small spaces have been on our mind (check out our June 2009 "Think Smaller" issue), and they’ve also been on the minds of the American Institute of Architects.

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  The Accessory Building by mcfarlane green biggar Architecture and Design
was designed as a small office in the midst of a residential neighborhood in North Vancouver, British Columbia. At 269 square feet, the building is the maximum size allowed as a non-parking use accessory building.
    The Accessory Building by mcfarlane green biggar Architecture and Design was designed as a small office in the midst of a residential neighborhood in North Vancouver, British Columbia. At 269 square feet, the building is the maximum size allowed as a non-parking use accessory building.
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  The Accessory Building is accessible from the street through the courtyard. Though it’s currently used as an art studio, it was designed to transition into additional living space for the main house.
    The Accessory Building is accessible from the street through the courtyard. Though it’s currently used as an art studio, it was designed to transition into additional living space for the main house.
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  Architect firm Moorhead and Moorhead designed the Mobile Chaplet as one of six portable “spaces for reflection” commissioned by the Roberts Street Chaplet Project to travel to rural communities in North Dakota.
    Architect firm Moorhead and Moorhead designed the Mobile Chaplet as one of six portable “spaces for reflection” commissioned by the Roberts Street Chaplet Project to travel to rural communities in North Dakota.
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  Inspired by covered wagons of yore, the Mobile Chaplet was formed by weaving over two hundred 30-foot-long rods across the width of a trailer bed. A bench is supported by the rods, which act as the backrest.
    Inspired by covered wagons of yore, the Mobile Chaplet was formed by weaving over two hundred 30-foot-long rods across the width of a trailer bed. A bench is supported by the rods, which act as the backrest.
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  This temporary Media Arts building in Cleveland, Ohio, by Robert Maschke Architects called for a black-box film studio, classroom, equipment-storage area, and check-out area. The bamboo ceiling wraps down to become the wall and then folds into a bench that then extends to become the floor.
    This temporary Media Arts building in Cleveland, Ohio, by Robert Maschke Architects called for a black-box film studio, classroom, equipment-storage area, and check-out area. The bamboo ceiling wraps down to become the wall and then folds into a bench that then extends to become the floor.
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  Space is at a maximum in this small urban infill home in Bozeman, Montana. To keep the second floor open but allow access to a third-floor loft, the architects at Intrinsik Architecture designed a counterbalanced steel staircase that can be easily pulled down or pushed up with minimal effort by the residents.
    Space is at a maximum in this small urban infill home in Bozeman, Montana. To keep the second floor open but allow access to a third-floor loft, the architects at Intrinsik Architecture designed a counterbalanced steel staircase that can be easily pulled down or pushed up with minimal effort by the residents.
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  Movement is an inherent part of this small-space solution, and it comes as no surprise that the architects were inspired by automotive industrial designs and the stairs include a vertical track that utilizes modified rubber skateboard wheels.
    Movement is an inherent part of this small-space solution, and it comes as no surprise that the architects were inspired by automotive industrial designs and the stairs include a vertical track that utilizes modified rubber skateboard wheels.
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  The Dominey Pavillion by Lightroom Studio is sited behind the Decatur, Georgia, home of family of Case Study House enthusiasts. The project includes a deck, outdoor living room, garden, carport, and driveway.
    The Dominey Pavillion by Lightroom Studio is sited behind the Decatur, Georgia, home of family of Case Study House enthusiasts. The project includes a deck, outdoor living room, garden, carport, and driveway.
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  The outdoor living room features a fireplace inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian “heart of the home” hearth philosophy.
    The outdoor living room features a fireplace inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian “heart of the home” hearth philosophy.
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  This bus shelter by David Thompson Architect is one of three stops created for downtown New Haven, Connecticut, commuters. The green roofs were created to offer an attractive view for the residents living in the buildings that overlook the bus stops.
    This bus shelter by David Thompson Architect is one of three stops created for downtown New Haven, Connecticut, commuters. The green roofs were created to offer an attractive view for the residents living in the buildings that overlook the bus stops.
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  Astigmatic Studio had the unique challenge of designing a home for a divorced couple that wanted to reside together upon retirement, with the additional onus of creating a space fully accessible for the partner with cerebral palsy. The house, located in Evansville, Indiana, is shaped in a V with the two bedrooms at either end and a living room, dining room, and kitchen in the middle.
    Astigmatic Studio had the unique challenge of designing a home for a divorced couple that wanted to reside together upon retirement, with the additional onus of creating a space fully accessible for the partner with cerebral palsy. The house, located in Evansville, Indiana, is shaped in a V with the two bedrooms at either end and a living room, dining room, and kitchen in the middle.
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  The roof of the one-story house is supported by four V-shaped glulam columns to reduce obstacles for the resident with cerebral palsy. The kitchen has no upper cabinets, and the bathroom features a walk-in shower with bench for wheelchair accessibility.
    The roof of the one-story house is supported by four V-shaped glulam columns to reduce obstacles for the resident with cerebral palsy. The kitchen has no upper cabinets, and the bathroom features a walk-in shower with bench for wheelchair accessibility.
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  This 1,380-square-foot home in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, was gutted and renovated by Johnsen Schmaling Architects. The new interior features built-in closets and cabinets to maximize space.
    This 1,380-square-foot home in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, was gutted and renovated by Johnsen Schmaling Architects. The new interior features built-in closets and cabinets to maximize space.
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  The house is wrapped on three sides with a rain screen of weathering steel panels. On the northern facade, a clerestory window lets in light to illuminate the inside spaces.
    The house is wrapped on three sides with a rain screen of weathering steel panels. On the northern facade, a clerestory window lets in light to illuminate the inside spaces.
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  Stephen Dalton Architects renovated a run-down building into a bright, welcoming facility for the Hanna Fenichel Center for Child Development pre-school program in Solana Beach, California. The deteriorating mansard roof was replaced with a roof canopy and the colorful panels were added to reflect the lively atmosphere of children playing inside.
    Stephen Dalton Architects renovated a run-down building into a bright, welcoming facility for the Hanna Fenichel Center for Child Development pre-school program in Solana Beach, California. The deteriorating mansard roof was replaced with a roof canopy and the colorful panels were added to reflect the lively atmosphere of children playing inside.

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