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Archive for September, 2013

100-SF Student Housing Prototype by Tengbom

Tengbom's 100-sf student house. All photos in this post  are by Bertil Herzberg and courtesy of Tengbom.

There’s a new, all-wood prototype for student housing on display at the Virserum Art Museum by the Swedish firm Tengbom  (self-proclaimed as the country’s oldest architecture firm). According to the firm, the project is the result of a collaboration between students at the University of Lund, Martinsons, a wood manufacturer, and A.F. Bostäder, a real estate […]


The “End” of Suburbia Debate in the NYTimes

Suburban Sprawl outside Phoenix, AZ. Via Wikimedia/Creative Commons.

There was an article in the New York Times last week covering the current debate over the direction suburban sprawl is taking: Is Suburban Sprawl on its Way Back? It features several statistics that could probably be taken with a grain of salt (e.g. the conversion of farmland has dipped to 800,000 acres per year […]


Kowloon – Once the Densest Place on Earth

Kowloon Walled City circa 1989. Photo by  Jidanni / Wikimedia Creative Commons.

A fantastic series of photos of the old Kowloon Walled City (Hong Kong) has been circulating recently. These were taken over five years by Greg Girard and Ian Lamboth before the city was raised in 1992, to be replaced by a park that occupies the space. The photos may be seen at Girard’s website here. […]


Cubix, San Francisco: Housing Before its Time.

Cubix Micro-apartments in SoMa, San Francisco. Via Creative Commons / Dave Fayram

Cubix is an apartment complex in the Soma neighborhood of San Francisco. Developed by HausBau, It consists of 98 “micro-apartments” that were some of the lowest-priced properties on market at around $280k when introduced in 2008 when SF’s median home price was around $759k. The kicker? The dorm-style studios were – and still are – […]


Democracy at Work: Seattle Passes Pro- and Anti-Density Bills in the Same Session

A typical off-the-shelf design (this circa 2007) that CVS uses in strip malls across America. Via Wikimedia / Creative Commons.

As an example of how fickle (or consistently NIMBY-ish) people can be when it comes to zoning and density, the Seattle City Council passed two measures today – one limiting the densities of certain neighborhoods, and one requiring it. 1. For those neighbors against the construction of “monster houses” on small lots, the city extended […]


Architectural Death Ray: The Perils of Urban Living

Walkie Talkie Building. Creative Commons / Paul Wilkinson via flickr.

  This is not related to small houses, density, or building, but it is so amazing that I need to mention it. The Daily Mail reports that the Walkie Talkie Tower in London is melting bikes, cracked building tiles, and frying eggs, due to the curvature of its facade. There are great photos, diagrams and […]


Home Economics: Affordability and the “Tiny House”

Home Economics: Affordability and the “Tiny House”

Yesterday the Huffington Post  reported that 68 percent of “small-space dwellers” (we must come up with a better term for them) do not have a mortgage, as opposed to 23 percent of all home owners in the United States. The article reposts a well-circulated poster by The Tiny Life blog:       This blog is […]


Small House in Kobe by Fujiwaramuro

Small House in Kobe by Fujiwaramuro

  I love finding houses in obscure, tight or difficult spaces. There’s something satisfying about squeezing every bit of space into something productive, whether in the name of necessity, density, efficiency, or ridiculously high land values. As this house is in urban Japan, I’d guess the latter is the main motivation for building a house on […]


Would You Live in This House?

A typical house in the Vennelyst area of Copenhagen, Denmark. Approx. 85 s.f.

  Or this infill?     This 4-ft-wide house comes as close to compressing your life into two dimensions as any: Yes, that is daylight in the gap. Which makes this home in Seattle seem downright oversized…     Finally, somewhat less outstanding in its context is this sliver of a house in Ahmedabad, India […]