11 Inspiring Small Space Projects Around the World

written by:
July 14, 2014
When it comes to the World Architecture Festival—the largest, live global architecture festival and awards—the slight gestures and creative solutions found in these small-space projects can provide the most lasting impressions. See other impressive buildings up for awards here.
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  Acoustic Shells (Flanagan Lawrence: Littlehampton, United Kingdom)A visual response to the sand dunes and sea near the shore, these whisper-thin concrete curves were shaped with material sprayed on mesh, measuring merely 100 millimeters in spots. The twin bell curves function as a bandstand on one side, and a larger version of a seashell on the other—it plays back the sea’s gentle rhythms.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Acoustic Shells (Flanagan Lawrence: Littlehampton, United Kingdom)

    A visual response to the sand dunes and sea near the shore, these whisper-thin concrete curves were shaped with material sprayed on mesh, measuring merely 100 millimeters in spots. The twin bell curves function as a bandstand on one side, and a larger version of a seashell on the other—it plays back the sea’s gentle rhythms. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Malapa Hominid Fossil Site Cover and Visitors' Platform (Krynauw Nel Associates: Guateng, South Africa)This sophisticated, polygonal lookout by the renowned South African architect Krynauw Nel is located on one of the richest veins of early human fossils in existence.  Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Malapa Hominid Fossil Site Cover and Visitors' Platform (Krynauw Nel Associates: Guateng, South Africa)

    This sophisticated, polygonal lookout by the renowned South African architect Krynauw Nel is located on one of the richest veins of early human fossils in existence.

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Salvaged Ring (a21studio: Nha Trang, Vietnam)This thatch-roofed café is a site-specific masterpiece created from stacks of scrap wood from a nearby carpenter. The unique curved roof, structured with a gap for ventilation, leaves a curved shadow that shuffles across the floor as patrons contemplate and caffeinate.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Salvaged Ring (a21studio: Nha Trang, Vietnam)

    This thatch-roofed café is a site-specific masterpiece created from stacks of scrap wood from a nearby carpenter. The unique curved roof, structured with a gap for ventilation, leaves a curved shadow that shuffles across the floor as patrons contemplate and caffeinate. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Strömkajen Ferry Terminals (Marge Arkitekter: Stockholm, Sweden)The shape of these brass shelters near Stockholm’s seaside tourist mecca should be familiar to anybody taking snapshots: they're modeled after the cone of a film camera. Those taking photos are, in a sense, being framed themselves.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Strömkajen Ferry Terminals (Marge Arkitekter: Stockholm, Sweden)

    The shape of these brass shelters near Stockholm’s seaside tourist mecca should be familiar to anybody taking snapshots: they're modeled after the cone of a film camera. Those taking photos are, in a sense, being framed themselves. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Alex Monroe Studio (DSDHA: London, United Kingdom)This three-story timber-framed addition to a triangular building in London houses a custom jewelry studio. As a reflection of the craft occurring inside, the wood will patina over time, revealing wear and age.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Alex Monroe Studio (DSDHA: London, United Kingdom)

    This three-story timber-framed addition to a triangular building in London houses a custom jewelry studio. As a reflection of the craft occurring inside, the wood will patina over time, revealing wear and age. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Sydney Harbour Ferry Wharves Upgrade (GroupGSA: Sydney, Australia)Designing ferry infrastructure that aesthetically complimented one of the world’s most recognized harbors was a steep challenge, met well with these sleek, glass, and steel structures.  Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Sydney Harbour Ferry Wharves Upgrade (GroupGSA: Sydney, Australia)

    Designing ferry infrastructure that aesthetically complimented one of the world’s most recognized harbors was a steep challenge, met well with these sleek, glass, and steel structures.

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Scaletta (nA Nakayama Architect co.: Hokkaido, Japan)With a box-in-box structure that recalls a Breuer home stood on its end, this sleek business complex gets plenty of notice with its thin frame.

    Scaletta (nA Nakayama Architect co.: Hokkaido, Japan)

    With a box-in-box structure that recalls a Breuer home stood on its end, this sleek business complex gets plenty of notice with its thin frame.

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  Loreto Archives Centre (Gray Puksand: Ballarat, Australia)A turn-of-the-century schoolhouse isn’t a surprising choice for a small archive. But the striking design of this historical site, which framed the original structure in glass and exposed original joints and materials, gives the documents and ephemera a more dramatic home.  Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Loreto Archives Centre (Gray Puksand: Ballarat, Australia)

    A turn-of-the-century schoolhouse isn’t a surprising choice for a small archive. But the striking design of this historical site, which framed the original structure in glass and exposed original joints and materials, gives the documents and ephemera a more dramatic home.

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  The Pinch (Department of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong: Yunnan, China)Few children experience the joy of running through a library, not to mention running on top of one, as they can do with this unique structure. Built in the wake of the 2012 earthquake that ravaged the province, the radical reading place offers seating, and as slide, on its curved timber roof.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    The Pinch (Department of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong: Yunnan, China)

    Few children experience the joy of running through a library, not to mention running on top of one, as they can do with this unique structure. Built in the wake of the 2012 earthquake that ravaged the province, the radical reading place offers seating, and as slide, on its curved timber roof. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Cook Park Amenities (Fox Johnston: Sydney, Australia)When was the last time you saw a public restroom worthy of an award? A series of these gently curving structures, boasting timber battened skin, now dot the Cook Park beachfront and have been credited with making the area more accessible.   Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Cook Park Amenities (Fox Johnston: Sydney, Australia)

    When was the last time you saw a public restroom worthy of an award? A series of these gently curving structures, boasting timber battened skin, now dot the Cook Park beachfront and have been credited with making the area more accessible. 

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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  Kiosks in Shells for Sparrow Hills (Wowhaus: Moscow, Russia)These temporary structures provide a respite to those heading to the former Lenin Hills area of Moscow.  Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

    Kiosks in Shells for Sparrow Hills (Wowhaus: Moscow, Russia)

    These temporary structures provide a respite to those heading to the former Lenin Hills area of Moscow.

    Courtesy of: World Architecture Festival

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