Nov 3, 2011

World House of the Year announced: Small House

Just announced as the 2011 World House of the Year
at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona
is this tiny footprint of a home with the descriptive name of
Located on a tiny plot in inner city Sydney, 
it was designed by architect Domenic Alvaro as his own home.
The size?
6 metres x 7 metres.
{To put that in perspective, a double garage is 6 metres x 6 metres.}
To get around the small plot size, 
the home is built on 4 levels, 
with the top being used as a roof garden.
There is a floor for sleeping + bathing,
a floor for eating + dining,
a floor for parking + storage
and a floor for living.
Plus that botanically dramatic roof garden.
In a world increasing in population at an alarming rate, 
it is fantastic that the judges have chosen to bestow their award
on a house which takes up such a small, but efficient footprint.

Which just goes to prove: bigger isn't necessarily better.

Small House by Dominic Alvaro, principal architect Woods Bagot Sydney
Photography: Trevor Mein
Images: World Architecture Festival, Barcelona.


  1. I saw this house on Grand Designs. It was beautiful but felt very open (perhaps the windows are mirrored on the outside?) and I didn't like the thought of having to run up all the stairs all the time (bedroom on one floor, kitchen on another, living on another). The amount of times I walk into a room and forget why I'm there, I'd be fit, that's for sure! Incredible design and lovely to see something so innovative and forward thinking in Australia.

  2. Oh that's funny because I had the very same thought - that the occupants would get very fit running up and down all those stairs! But for the young, fit and healthy, I guess it's a great way to stay fit as part of everyday life, perhaps? Vxx

  3. Kylie Oram3/11/11 5:14 PM

    I loved this house when I saw it on Grand Designs Australia, still do.
    I like that big is not necessarily better...I'm tired of seeing huge Mc Mansions squeezed on to tiny blocks.
    Just think how good your legs would be with all those stairs!

  4. Hello Kylie, I am happy to agree with you. I am also sensing (both from my clients and from reader's comments) that there is a real trend for trimming the size of houses in Australia. Which is fantastic, I believe. Who needs to spend their precious hours cleaning up such a large space, when it seems that in most families, people tend to prefer to gather in the one spot anyway? Vxx

  5. Hi virginia

    well when that think cap has to go on of edward de bono's it is amazing what creations can really come in to play.
    (and I thought my house was small - though 4 levels would help :)

    have a wonderful day

    loulou, from hereiamloulou blog


  6. Heather in Arles4/11/11 12:18 AM

    Oh my, I would need another floor entirely--for things! For closet space! I wish that it weren't the case but I do have too much of muchness to live so simply. That said, I am LOVING living in a smaller space. Our kitchen is positively closet sized and yet it is just great--and we love to cook, as you know! 

    Speaking of, your mention of fish with coriander pesto (you put me to shame!) made me remember that I had a link that I wanted to pass on to you as it is right up your alley. I am sending the Google translation into English--it should be fine enough to give you an idea. You would love her blog actually, gorgeous food, gorgeous photos to go with it:

    Cut and paste--trust me it is worth it!

  7. Hi Loulou. And just imagine how fabulous one's legs would be from going up and down those 4 levels. (She says, gasping at the very thought...) Vxx

  8. oh yum, always love food inspiration as you know....will go and check out her blog. The coriander pesto is so fantastic, I keep making up more batches of it because it goes with everything. I better post the recipe because I think you may like it.  And as for loving your new kitchen, I am a firm believer that it isn't the size of a space which makes it great, it is the ambience, which is such a complex thing to achieve. Vxx

  9. robinsonheather4/11/11 8:27 PM

    Not so difficult, Virgina! Just keep the wine flowing and the music playing. :) And have lots of spices and vinegars and oils at hand to experiment with. 

    I would loovvveee to have the recipe please! I am a coriander addict, so that is right up my alley. 


  10. Hi Heather. Ok, I'll do a post on it tomorrow. It is fab with Asian and European style cooking, so it is disappearing as fast as I make it. V xx


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