"I believe that, in the Netherlands, we should intensify the existing infrastructure instead of allowing cities to spread more and more into nature," says architect Ana Rocha, who designed Micro House Slim Fit—a 538-square-foot house in Almere—as a solution to urban densification.
"I wanted a footprint that would be smaller than the area used by two cars," the architect says. "Micro House Slim Fit’s footprint is 172 square feet, allowing the house to fit almost everywhere in the city—even between cars."
The tall and slender three-level home features a kitchen, a dining area, and a storage/technical room on the ground level, a living area on the second level, and a bedroom, bathroom, and closet on the third level. "The storage/technical room is located under the stairs," Rocha says. "And the closet uses the free space above the stairs."
A built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcase integrates with the pine staircase on the first and second levels. "It’s 26 feet high," Rocha says. "It was important to make clear that compact living does not mean losing space for all of your collected items."
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Rocha clad the exterior of the home with Ayous wood because "it’s sustainable and very light," she says. "The interior is covered with birch panels on the walls and the ceiling, and the flooring on the first two levels is covered with a layer of cement and synthetic resin." The kitchen, too, is finished with birch panels that were treated with a resin varnish.
The position of both large windows opposite one another facilitates natural ventilation and provides the interior with plenty of sunlight. Sliding doors, made from birch panels, along the stair can be closed to preserve warmth or opened to allow for extra natural ventilation. The home is connected to an urban heating system, and all of its glass surfaces are heat-resistant—and the roof is finished with a white, heat-resistant foil.
Micro House Slim Fit is compact, but it feels spacious. "The openings are large, and the rooms are full-height," Rocha says. "The home can stand alone, or it can be grouped in rows or squares. The ideal context for its compact footprint is the lost space in cities or backyards, between buildings, and in areas that can be densified so that we don’t further encroach on nature."
Architect of Record: Ana Rocha Architecture
Construction: Goedhart Bouw
Installations and Building Physics: Lineair Bouwmanagement
Installations: Herold Pouwels
Photography: Christiane Wirth
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