Tiny Houses

Big & Small House proves less really can mean more

Big & Small House proves less ...
The Big & Small House
The Big & Small House
View 27 Images
The kitchen countertop, feature wall, and floors are all constructed from white oak (Photo: Steve King)
1/27
The kitchen countertop, feature wall, and floors are all constructed from white oak (Photo: Steve King)
The Big & Small House was was completed in April, 2012
2/27
The Big & Small House was was completed in April, 2012
The residence contains only two full-height walls in order to impart a feeling of open space to a relatively small area
3/27
The residence contains only two full-height walls in order to impart a feeling of open space to a relatively small area
The 1,200 square-feet (111 square-meters) building area of the house follows the shape of the site itself – an asymmetric parallelogram (Photo: Steve King)
4/27
The 1,200 square-feet (111 square-meters) building area of the house follows the shape of the site itself – an asymmetric parallelogram (Photo: Steve King)
The Big & Small House bucks the trend of large, sprawling Los Angeles residences
5/27
The Big & Small House bucks the trend of large, sprawling Los Angeles residences
The use of lighting was carefully considered to maximize the feeling of space available
6/27
The use of lighting was carefully considered to maximize the feeling of space available
Despite its size, Big & Small House still feels open, and sports relatively high ceilings
7/27
Despite its size, Big & Small House still feels open, and sports relatively high ceilings
Anonymous Architects employed innovative space saving techniques, and not a little radical interior design
8/27
Anonymous Architects employed innovative space saving techniques, and not a little radical interior design
The Big & Small House
9/27
The Big & Small House
The Big & Small House was was completed in April, 2012
10/27
The Big & Small House was was completed in April, 2012
A wooden model of the Big & Small House
11/27
A wooden model of the Big & Small House
The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram
12/27
The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram
Natural lighting was used where possible
13/27
Natural lighting was used where possible
Anonymous Architects employed clever design and folding furniture
14/27
Anonymous Architects employed clever design and folding furniture
The Big & Small House is a veritable Tardis inside
15/27
The Big & Small House is a veritable Tardis inside
The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram
16/27
The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram
Owing to the concrete stilts it sits upon, the house doesn’t touch the ground at any point
17/27
Owing to the concrete stilts it sits upon, the house doesn’t touch the ground at any point
The windows are aluminum dual glazed
18/27
The windows are aluminum dual glazed
Clever folding furniture and sliding doors were used to maximize the small space
19/27
Clever folding furniture and sliding doors were used to maximize the small space
The house was constructed at a reported cost of $175 per square-foot
20/27
The house was constructed at a reported cost of $175 per square-foot
A single-car garage is adjacent to the property
21/27
A single-car garage is adjacent to the property
The main interior room is nearly as large as the entire building footprint
22/27
The main interior room is nearly as large as the entire building footprint
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
23/27
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
24/27
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
25/27
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
26/27
Architectural plans of the Big & Small House
27/27

Though a large imposing house may draw admiring glances, it’s also generally expensive, and a waste of resources for a smaller family. Los Angeles-based Big & Small House by Anonymous Architects bucks the trend of sizable LA residences, and instead offers an example of small living at its most practical and appealing.

In a somewhat similar fashion to the Like A Houseboat residence, Big & Small House sits atop four concrete stilts, reducing the footprint of the building’s foundations to under 20 square-feet (1.85 sq m). This frees at least some of the land beneath the house for potential use, which is a significant gain when working with a site half the size of the usual minimum for an LA home.

The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram
The home's unusual geometry derives from the lot's own unusual shape – an inverted parallelogram

The 1,200-sq ft (111 sq-m) building area of Big & Small House follows the asymmetric parallelogram shape of the site. Therefore the interior features unusual geometry, making for a striking home and space-saving opportunities.

In order to turn the modest dimensions of Big & Small House into a veritable Tardis, Anonymous Architects used a few novel tricks, such as folding furniture and the use of partitions instead of sealed walls to impart a feeling of open space.

The single-story (plus loft and adjoining single-car parking garage) home was completed in April, 2012.

Source: Anonymous Architects via Fast Co.Design

17 comments
Slowburn
The photos of the interior all have the same feeling as add pictures of undersized hotel rooms.
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is a really nice design. I like small and tiny houses. I think this maximises the space without having to maximise the size of the house.
Buellrider
I like it but in the midwest we like our basements for storage, laundry, heating, water heater, and for tornado protection. Tornado protection cannot be over looked. I'm sure a basement would not be a problem with this design. The only other problem is that it looks like a Morton building.
Bob Flint
Roughly 24 x 24 sq. ft. patch of land, considering two stories, but more like a 1 &1/2 and it gives you 1200 sq. feet of building area including the garage which will eat up say 200 sq. ft. This now leaves you with roughly 1000sq ft. of living space. The columns it sits on use only 20 sq. ft. leaving the land under This frees at least some of the land beneath the house for potential use, which is a significant gain when working with a site half the size of the usual minimum for an LA home. What exactly do you want to grow under there…magic mushrooms… The whole problem with the L.A. and other affluent egotistical societies that have become accustomed to the BIGGER is BETTER… Waste not want not, my humble plot of land has a building area of 24 x 32= 768sq. ft. on the ground floor. The building is considered a 1 ½ story, with a finished 624sq. ft. basement. The upper floor is 488 sq. ft. Total living space 1952 sq. ft. it has 5 bedrooms, & 2 full bathrooms which is a minimum for the now 6 adults living in this place for 25 years now. Yes it’s small, but the family that grows up together in these tight quarters and still plays together, is quite something when compared to sprawling typical homes.
Jonathan Cole
1200 square feet is not a small house. I live comfortably in a small house. It is about 600 square feet. And not nearly as featureless and sterile as this metal box.
Ed Campbell
My wife and I and dog live in 1200 sq.ft. and don't use all the space. Previously, we lived in 800 sq.ft. and it worked out fine.
b@man
Love the look but it's an acoustic disaster. I love music too much for all the hard surfaces;) It would be hard to carry on a conversation in there. Beautiful though.
garbage_in
I like the high ceilings and layout. LA houses must be insanely big though if they thing 1200 sgft is small. My 2 bedroom ranch was 1200 sqft. and I had more room than I needed.
The Skud
Seems strange to use such short support columns - why not make it a bit higher off the ground? There are many examples of this in 'flood plain' architecture around the world. Then most new(ish) small cars could park under the house and free up the present garage area into more living or bedroom space. As for acoustics, hang a few decorative carpet squares (tapestries) to avoid the echo effect (and insulate as well), like they used to do in stone castles/buildings way back then.
martinkopplow
Well, it is not exactly small, though well thought features all over the place might make it look a bit bigger than it actually is. It would sure be enough for me, and the sterile look will go away after a short period of me living in it. Put some solar cells on top so I cloud charge my car for free while in that garage, and I'd be just fine.