City living is expensive. There is a distinct premium that comes with living in central zones and, with increasing numbers of home buyers willing to pay these costs, the higher they soar.
The density crunch in a number of major cities is making for some interesting design solutions in which homeowners literally have to squeeze into the urban landscape.
The owners of a small block in the inner city hub of Surry Hills Sydney faced just such a problem. With the high cost of living in such a dense city, home owners bought a seven-by-six metre block in the midst of the hustle and bustle and recruited architect Domenic Alvaro to develop the widely critically and publicly acclaimed Small House.
With the entire process outlaid on the first series of Grand Designs Australia, the process of building on such a tight block was arduous and it meant that design, at all cost, needed to be strictly adhered to and specifically developed.
The key element to this building’s success as a functional living space is in its cleverly designed layout. Breaking with tradition, the residential development is zoned vertically, with various living spaces stacked atop one another to accommodate the very tight floor plate.
The ground floor houses the utility spaces, from storage to parking while the first floor holds the bedroom and bathroom spaces. The second floor functions as a key living zone and the third floor hosts the kitchen and further entertainment areas. A roof top terrace tops the house.
The delivery of such a small space was aided by precast concrete technologies, which adds to the overall urban aesthetic of the building. Designing cleverly has meant that a comfortable size singular home is a possibility, even in the most dense of spaces. Not only does this kind of living cut off the city commute, it avoids the highly dreaded urban sprawl even when populations balloon. Though the house’s many levels may seem daunting to those coming home after a long day of work, owners of such a home could throw the gym membership right out the door.