Tiny Houses

Architect Brad Swartz discusses his winning tiny home formula

Architect Brad Swartz discusse...
The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformed into a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates two
The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformed into a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates two
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Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 Houses Awards for Best Apartment or Unit, for his project in Darlinghurst, Sydney
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Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 Houses Awards for Best Apartment or Unit, for his project in Darlinghurst, Sydney
The tiny apartment features a snug double bedroom, open living with European kitchen and laundry
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The tiny apartment features a snug double bedroom, open living with European kitchen and laundry
The tiny apartment features ample storage space, multi-purpose zones, clean lines and lots of natural light
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The tiny apartment features ample storage space, multi-purpose zones, clean lines and lots of natural light
The multi-purpose wall conceals the entrance to the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a vertical wine rack and a fold-down desk
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The multi-purpose wall conceals the entrance to the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a vertical wine rack and a fold-down desk
The "public" zone was created to include all aspects of everyday living, including kitchen, study, storage and enough room for entertaining or relaxing
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The "public" zone was created to include all aspects of everyday living, including kitchen, study, storage and enough room for entertaining or relaxing
Swartz reconfigured what was originally just a single-room apartment to incorporate two distinct zones
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Swartz reconfigured what was originally just a single-room apartment to incorporate two distinct zones
Adopting a minimalist approach, Swartz's design features pragmatic furnishings which fit together like Tetris pieces and seem to disappear into the surrounding white lines
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Adopting a minimalist approach, Swartz's design features pragmatic furnishings which fit together like Tetris pieces and seem to disappear into the surrounding white lines
The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformed into a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates two
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The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformed into a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates two
The "private" zone was designed to accommodate the bathroom and bedroom areas
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The "private" zone was designed to accommodate the bathroom and bedroom areas
Original floor plan
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Original floor plan
New floor plan by Brad Swartz
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New floor plan by Brad Swartz
Hidden everyday elements gives the home an illusion of having more interior space and is complimented with an abundance of natural light
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Hidden everyday elements gives the home an illusion of having more interior space and is complimented with an abundance of natural light
View gallery - 12 images

Earlierthis month, Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 HousesAwards for Best Apartment or Unit for his project in Darlinghurst,Sydney. The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformedinto a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates twoat a cost of just AUD$54,000 (approx. US$39,130) to complete.

The tinyapartment designed by Swartz features a snug double bedroom, open living with Europeankitchen and laundry, bathroom, storage space, multi-purpose zones,clean lines, and lots of natural light.

"Thematerial palette is purposely restrained and mirrors are sparsely buteffectively used to exaggerate the feeling of spaciousness," commented the 2015 Houses Awards Jury. "This project is anexcellent example of what a thoughtful designer can achieve within avery small space and with a very tight budget."

Swartzreconfigured what was originally just a single-room apartment toincorporate two distinct zones. The "private" zone wasdesigned to accommodate the bathroom and bedroom areas, while and the"public" zone was created to include all aspects ofeveryday living, including kitchen, study, storage and enough roomfor entertaining or relaxing.

Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 Houses Awards for Best Apartment or Unit, for his project in Darlinghurst, Sydney
Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 Houses Awards for Best Apartment or Unit, for his project in Darlinghurst, Sydney

Adoptinga minimalist approach, Swartz's design features pragmatic furnishingsthat fit together like Tetris pieces and seem to disappear into thesurrounding white lines. The multi-purpose wall conceals the entranceto the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a verticalwine rack and a fold-down desk. These skillfully hidden everydayelements gives the home an illusion of having more interior space andis complimented with an abundance of natural light.

The multi-purpose wall conceals the entrance to the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a vertical wine rack and a fold-down desk
The multi-purpose wall conceals the entrance to the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a vertical wine rack and a fold-down desk

Gizmaggot the chance to interview Swartz about this clever tiny home designand his love for working with tiny spaces. Here's what he had to say:

Whatinspired the original design for the apartment?

Swartz: Iwas inspired by contemporary Japanese architecture, in particularSANAA’s (an Architecture Firm) "Plum Grove" house, where lotsof small rooms are interconnected.

Whatwere your challenges in completing the apartment?

Swartz: Thesize was a constant challenge. We wanted the apartment to functionlike a one-bedroom apartment twice its size. This meant we tested manydesign options before settling on a final option.

Canyou describe the home's space saving furnishings?

Swartz: Wherever possible we gave items multiple functions. For example, a stepto the bedroom creates a threshold between private and public, becomes a seat when guests are over, and conceals a shoe drawer.Similarly, the cupboard over the sink hides a dish rack, whichdoubles as crockery storage.

Whatare the sustainable features of the home?

Swartz: Beingsmall and close to the city, this apartment facilitates a sustainablelifestyle; proving luxuries don’t need to be sacrificed to preventurban sprawl. Occupants can walk to work, shops, parks, pools,eliminating the need to own a car. Furthermore, the unit is easy toheat and relies on natural ventilation to cool.

Whatare your favorite design features of the home?

Swartz: Thewine rack and the small internal window between the living and andbedroom.

Whatdo you love about working with tiny spaces?

Swartz: Itmakes architecture and design accessible to everyone.

Whatcan we expect to see from you in the future?

Swartz: Morearchitecture that facilitates and inspires a good life.

Source: Brad Swartz and 2015 Houses Awards

View gallery - 12 images
5 comments
minivini
Yay! An article about thoughtful architecture that includes a real cost! This is very helpful and makes the thought of actually going tiny a tangible prospect.
DavidB
I don't see any place to hang clothes, and it looks like I'd have to stand on the bed to reach the cupboards in the private area.
Mestengo
David: They go TC (total commando) when there are no cameras around
Insanity
The most likely place for a fire to start in any home is in the kitchen, that's why under current UK building regulations, you can not escape from a room (bedroom) through the kitchen. If you can escape through the bedroom window, then that might be acceptable but otherwise it seems funny that a flat with a potentially fatal design should win an award.
Calson
Hard to see why this design one an award. Big problem with his design is the east west double bed orientation. Anyone on the inside has to crawl over their sleeping companion to get in and out of the bed. Changing the bed linens would also be a pain. Good way to save space is with pocket doors which would make for better design while providing privacy. Most hotel rooms are better designed than this and worth taking a look at by architects interested in small living quarters.