Angular small house is inspired by Dutch and Japanese design

Casey Dunn
© Casey Dunn

Clad with reclaimed cedar, this modern and quirky house fits on a small footprint.

As we've heard time and time again, downsizing one's 'stuff' and living in a smaller space can bring a measure of financial and emotional freedom. But tiny houses -- ones that come in at 400 square feet or less -- aren't for everyone. Hence, small houses can be one way to compromise: they are neither too big and inefficient, nor too small.

Inspired by elements of Japanese and Dutch design, Austin, Texas-based Studio 512 created this angular, ancillary structure -- clad in reclaimed cedar shingles -- for a television and documentary film producer. Though it serves as a guesthouse behind the client's main house, it's not too difficult to imagine this 550-square-foot design being translated as a home for a couple or a small family.

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

The Hive house's quirky form is a response to local regulations that limit the footprint of guesthouses to be 320 square feet (30 square metres). To make it larger on a smaller footprint, architect Nicole Blair made the walls slant out and added a second floor.

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

The interior is clean and minimalist, but warmed up with some reclaimed wooden accents on the cabinetry. The open-concept living room and kitchen connect visually with each other, but thanks to the slanted walls, the kitchen extends off to one side, creating more counter space. According to Blair on Dezeen, the way the spaces are conceived and angle out depend on their function, and is based on the principles of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man:

[The Vitruvian Man's] range of motion is circular, the widest at shoulder height, the narrowest at the ceiling and floor. This observation, coupled with close examination of the actions performed in each space – sitting, sleeping, standing – inform the shape of The Hive to yield a dynamic, structured environment for living that feels both intimate and grand.

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

Adam Schreiber© Adam Schreiber

Walking upstairs, one can see a lovely perch where the open office is located, overlooking the space below. There are also two doors; beyond them lay the bedroom and bathroom.

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

Whit Preston© Whit Preston

Adam Schreiber and Whit Preston© Adam Schreiber and Whit Preston

Not quite Japanese nor Dutch, it's a unique little house that looks to two cultures that know how to make the most out of a small footprint, without going overboard. To see more, visit Studio 512.

Angular small house is inspired by Dutch and Japanese design
Clad with reclaimed cedar, this modern and quirky house fits on a small footprint.

Related Content on Treehugger.com