Tiny Tower brings small living to the big city
Many cities are filled with awkward little plots that aren't suitable for building a standard house on, but ISA (Interface Studio Architects) has designed an interesting compact home that could make good use of them. Named Tiny Tower, the 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m) dwelling fits into a 12 x 29 ft (3.6 x 8.8 m) inner-city space.
Tiny Tower is located in Philadelphia's Brewerytown neighborhood, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. It neighbors plots of similar size that are being used as car parking spaces and back yards. To fit a house into such a small space, ISA drew design inspiration from a rather unlikely source: skyscrapers.
"Although it measures only 38 ft [11.5 m] in height, Tiny Tower is organized like a full-scale skyscraper," says ISA. "Linked by a strong core of vertical circulation, each level is similar in size and quality, allowing for flexible programming. With a kitchen at the lower level and tucked away bathrooms on upper ones, each floor is free to define live, work and play in multiple configurations."
The house was largely constructed using steel, including the cladding, and comprises five floors, plus a rooftop terrace. The first-floor living room is snug but has a sofa and table, while the kitchen and dining area, plus one of the three bathrooms, are below in the basement. The second floor features a home office and the remaining two floors host bedrooms, each with an adjoining bathroom. Finally, the rooftop terrace is accessible too and has some seating installed.
"The biggest challenge in a vertical house with a tiny footprint is stair configuration," adds the firm. "A folded plate metal stair with winder treads pushed up against the front facade of the building creates a dramatic, light-filled circulation stack that affords surprising views inside and out as well as a sense of adventure for the occupants."
One obvious drawback of Tiny Tower's design is that residents will need to spend a lot of time climbing the stairs. That said, the issue is mitigated with the bathrooms being available on most levels, which makes it more appealing than similar projects we've covered, such as the Slim Fit and Tikku.