BIG & small House by
Anonymous Architects

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This tiny house in northeast Los Angeles by local studio Anonymous Architects contains only three rooms and is lifted off the hillside on a set of concrete pilotis (+ slideshow).

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Named BIG & small House, the two-storey residence was designed to maximise space, as it occupies a plot around half the size of its neighbours.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Rather than squeeze in lots of small rooms, Anonymous Architects chose to add just one large living room, a single bathroom and a mezzanine bedroom. "What the house lacks in square footage it provides in volume," explains the architect.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

A single-car parking garage run along the side of the house, and the mezzanine bedroom stretches out over the top, allowing the combined living and dining room to become a double-height space.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

To increase natural light inside the house, interior partions don't meet the ceiling. This was intended to create an "open-lofted feeling".

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

The shape of the house is defined by the outline of its sloping site. The base of the building barely touches the declining ground, but is held firmly in place by concrete-pile foundations.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

"The house is a completely isolated object," architect Simon Storey told Dezeen. "It's almost like a industrial shed compared to it's neighbours, however the undulating roof softens the house just enough that it feels part of the neighborhood."

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Seamed metal sheets clad the entire exterior, while interior walls and floors are lined with timber.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Anonymous Architects previously worked on another house on a small plot in Los Angeles and named it Eel's Nest after the narrow residences found in Japanese cities.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

See more recently completed houses in the US, including an aluminium-clad country house in upstate New York.

Here's a project description from Anonymous Architects:


BIG & small HOUSE

Starting with a vacant lot that was half of the typical minimum lot size, the objective was to compensate for the relatively small footprint of the house.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

To achieve this there are only two full height walls inside the house which makes the main interior room nearly as large as the building footprint. This gives the house an open-lofted feeling with very high ceilings and abundant natural light.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

It is an inversion of expectation, so that the smallest house contains the largest room. What the house lacks in square footage it provides in volume.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

The free plan of the vacant lot is preserved since the house touches the ground only at the four small piles, giving full access to use the space between the house and the lot. The footprint of the foundation is in fact less than 20 sq.ft. and the house doesn’t touch the ground at any point.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

The plan of the house follows the shape of the site which is an asymmetric parallelogram. This form resulted in unusual geometry inside and outside the dwelling and explains the shape of the house. The elevations of the house are designed to mirror the plan.

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Date of completion: April 2012
Clients: Jon Behar/ Joyce Campbell
Lot Area: 2,500 sq.ft
Building Area: 1,200 sq.ft
Cost per sq.ft: $175
Single story with loft
Building footprint: 900 sq.ft
Method of construction: concrete pile foundation; steel (primary floor structure - cantilevers); wood floor, walls and roof
Primary materials: standing seam metal roofing and siding, aluminum dual glazed windows, white oak floors, feature wall and kitchen countertop

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: site plan - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: first floor plan - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: long section - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: cross section - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: front elevation - click for larger image 

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: side elevation - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: rear elevation - click for larger image

BIG small House by Anonymous Architects

Above: side elevation - click for larger image

  • Colonel Pancake

    A barely mediocre execution of inoffensive intentions. I suppose there are worse things to be than the embodiment of bourgeois Dwell-ness, but if this place had the intention of being something of significance, it has erred in its use of the most boring details and components imaginable.

    If you examine the materials more closely, they’re every bit as lacklustre and characterless as the fittings you’d find in budget condo buildings all over Vancouver and other new cities. On a purely formal level, there is a glaring resistance to 90 degree angles and a more composed set of elevations and plans, which seems like a missed opportunity.

    • Squidly

      If you look more closely, you'll see that the walls parallel the property lines, which are not orthogonal but maximize the permitted area.

  • Tony

    I need this house. Great sense of well being. That’s what architecture is for.

  • DumDU

    This tiny house is not so tiny. It maybe perceived as so, if you choose to spend your time in north-east Los Angeles, but where I (in fact, where most people) live this is a plenty large abode.

  • BRice

    It’s an interesting house but I’d be terrified to live in a home on the side of a hill resting on pylons in LA. Builders wedge homes into spaces where there should not be any. Too many issues with landslides, earthquakes and brushfires.

  • http://www.starcruzer.com Mr J

    Handsome enough inside; shame about the exterior. Maybe if it was finished in Californian colours – pinks, blues, aquas, lemons – I’d like it better than the battleship grey chosen.

  • Squidly

    I’m sorry more attention wasn’t paid to the underside of the house, which is in full view to those below. Otherwise, a nice project.

  • Michaela

    Again, an much overused exterior finish. Where is the creativity, guys? I have the feeling I’ve seen this house sprouting up all around the world!

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    I think it works really well. Good design doesn’t always have to try to reinvent the wheel. The view from below could have been given more thought, though.