logo image

Would You Live in This House?

That is a normal-sized person

A typical house in the Vennelyst area of Copenhagen. Approx 80 s.f. Yes, that is a normal-size woman.

 

Or this infill?

 

16-ft wide London infill by Amenity Space, 2009. (via Fancy-deco.com)

16-ft wide London infill by Amenity Space, 2009. (via Fancy-deco.com)

 

This 4-ft-wide house comes as close to compressing your life into two dimensions as any:

Keret House in Warsaw, Poland by Jakub Szczesny. (via Piotr Panek / Creative Commons).

Keret House in Warsaw, Poland by Jakub Szczesny. (via Piotr Panek / Creative Commons).

Yes, that is daylight in the gap. Which makes this home in Seattle seem downright oversized…

Seattle E Ward St.

 

 

Finally, somewhat less outstanding in its context is this sliver of a house in Ahmedabad, India ….

 

AHMD_Front Door_r1-01

 

… which has a surprisingly spacious and well daylit living room behind its front door.

Thanks to homeowner Yagnesh Dave & Family

Thanks to homeowner Yagnesh Dave & Family

 

I would argue that this selection of houses, despite their locations across the globe, have much in common. They’re single-family, middle-class homes in middle-class (or upper-middle-class) urban neighborhoods. The footprint of each is small by local standards, yet none lacks basic amenities.  And those who live in them are quite comfortable; the standard of living is comparable (or perhaps higher) than similar homes in their contexts.

(Actually, the Warsaw house has a few exceptions, as it’s the most extreme case – the house is designed for only one person, and not intended as a permanent residence. Rather, it’s permitted as an installation where artists can reside there for up to 7 days. Also, the Copenhagen house sleeps two.)

The intent of these comparisons – and a primary interest of this blog – is to chip away at the notion that  urban living equals smaller spaces equals  low standards of living, and inferior lifestyles. House size and square footage are easy metrics follow, but don’t tell the whole story in terms of livability, and some of these examples come close to suggesting they’re in fact irrelevant.

Livability is partially a spatial question and partially a context/ amenities question. Posts in the near future to explore these questions, as well as their relation density, sustainability, and economies.

 

Leave a Reply