written by:
March 31, 2014
It can be tough fitting in, but these clever, unobtrusive homes manage to fit a dose of modernism into the nooks and crannies left over from piecemeal urban expansion, or by gently settling into their scenic locales.
brick house sectional exterior
When converting a 93 square-foot boiler room in San Francisco into a guesthouse, architect Christi Azevedo had nowhere to go but up. The living and dining area takes up the ground floor of the three-level space. A ladder accessed mezzanine contains the bathroom and closet, and a small but comfortable sleeping area tops off the home. Photo by Cesar Rubio.
 
Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Compact Three-Story Brick Loft in San Francisco
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Keret House Warsaw Interior

The five-foot wide Keret House was built in an alley in Warsaw, Poland. Working within such tight boundaries, architect Jakub Szczesny was forced to get creative with the design. The bedroom is accessed by ladder and the fridge has just enough room to fit two drinks. While the design might be too sparse for a full-time home, Szczensny’s intent was to create a temporary home for a rotating roster of artist tenants and to push the boundaries of small space living. Photo by Bartek Warzecha.

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Concrete house in Tokyo

After purchasing an odd, L-shaped lot in Tokyo, Tamotsu Nakada enlisted the help of his former architecture school friend to collaborate on a concrete house, which feels stunningly open despite being just 793 square-feet in size. Using cantilevered volumes and lofty indoor spaces, the home has a light airiness atypical of so small a dwelling. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Originally appeared in Japan Style: 7 Creative Living Spaces in Tokyo
3 / 5
Villa Vals Courtyard Exterior SeARCH
Villa Vals is subtly out carved from an alpine slope in Vals, Switzerland. The unique design by SeARCH and Christian Müller Architects provides both a comfortably sized patio, and stunning mountain views while remaining visually unobtrusive in the pastoral landscape. Photo by Iwan Baan.
 
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Visitors enter through a narrow staircase, visible here as a slit to the right of the courtyard.

Outside Seoul, South Korea, architect Byoung Soo Cho’s Earth House quietly hides among the surrounding woods and rice fields. Visible from above only as a square hole in the ground, the house contains six rooms and a spacious courtyard. Cho’s inspiration for the house comes from Taoist views on positive and negative space. Photo by Wooseop Hwang.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Underground House in Seoul
5 / 5
brick house sectional exterior
When converting a 93 square-foot boiler room in San Francisco into a guesthouse, architect Christi Azevedo had nowhere to go but up. The living and dining area takes up the ground floor of the three-level space. A ladder accessed mezzanine contains the bathroom and closet, and a small but comfortable sleeping area tops off the home. Photo by Cesar Rubio.
 
Photo by Cesar Rubio.

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