Below, we round up seven of our favorite examples of small structures making a big impact.
Architect: Indra Janda
An A-frame garden shed in Belgium by architect Indra Janda is composed of simple, everyday materials: a wooden frame wrapped with poly-carbonate shingles. The skin glows like a lantern at night, revealing the structural forms within. When the sun shines, the structure sits as a textured, geometric form, elegant in the green setting.
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Architect: Avanto Architects
A prefabricated hideaway, combining greenhouse and shed, provides a perfect summer retreat. Linda Bergroth developed this micro-model in collaboration with Avanto Architects to create the essential, small retreat, now available for purchase through outdoor company Kekkilä.
Architect: Intrinsik Architecture
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Inspired by the modern prefab movement, an efficient home in Montana was built for the affordable price of $150 per square foot. The homeowner took on much of the construction work himself, and now stores the tools he used in the small wood shed adjacent to the home.
Architect: Heidi Beebe and Doug Skidmore
Location: Boise, Idaho
A renovation of a historic Boise, Idaho, home includes a modern, light-filled addition at the back of the house, as well as a stand-alone studio now used as a home office and play structure. It is a blend of old and new, open and closed, playful and work.
Architect: Annick Houle and Stephen O’Connor
Location: Mornington Peninsula, Australia
A studio with Scandinavian influences becomes a quiet haven for the residents of this Australian house. With a built-in desk, wood-burning stove, Alvar Aalto stools, and an Aalto daybed, it is a minimally designed retreat with a sense of calm and connection to the landscape.
Architect: First Lamp
Location: Seattle, Washington
A small backyard studio in Seattle is filled with colorful midcentury finds. Titled the Orchid Studio, the retreat accommodates dual functions. One, it provides a location for the owners to pursue their passions of painting, sculpture, furniture, and gardening. Second, it can transform into a guest house instantly for a private oasis.
Architect: Sett Studio
Location: Austin, Texas
Austin-based, modern prefab designer Sett Studio provides a tiny house complete with charred wood siding, floor-to-ceiling windows, and bamboo floors. SIP panels are used for all structural surfaces, providing greater durability and energy efficiency. The homes are currently sold at Treehouse, a sustainable home goods store in Austin.