Occupying a low profile on a sloping site in Auckland, New Zealand, this small home designed by Roy Tebbutt of Strachan Group Architects (SGA Ltd) impresses beyond its 64sqm footprint.
Aptly named Back House – for its location at the back of another house – the brief for the design demanded very little; create a simple, yet beautiful home for a young family, on a small piece of otherwise unusable land.
While the sloping site presented a few challenges in terms of accessibility (with panels having to be crane-lifted in), its angle allowed the striking small home to sit below the main house without obstructing the view.
To maximise space and comfort, the form of the home was intentionally kept simple. Its rectangular shape allows for service areas to sit along the hallway and sleeping areas. The design then narrows at the north end to a single-width space that stacks kitchen, dining and living areas end on end.
To make the most of its sunny spot at the end of the garden, the roof of the home reaches up in the living and dining areas, with clerestory glazing to allow morning, midday and then afternoon sun to flood the space.
The interior of the home features prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. These were used as the construction method to reduce construction time, and form the floor, walls and roof structure. The CLT panels have been left exposed and finished with oil to create a warm and streamlined interior look.
This clever, compact home demonstrates how thoughtful design really can ensure comfortable and spacious living, even on a tiny footprint!