written by:
May 21, 2013
It's always fascinating to see how designers deal with tiny lots and small spaces. But when a house is also unusually narrow, that brings additional spatial challenges—often provoking out-of-the-box solutions from designers and inhabitants. Check out these five examples of surprisingly small and narrow modern houses, plucked from the pages of Dwell, and proffering unexpected approaches to storage, custom built-ins, and creative ways of cohabitating.
Narrow brick house in Toronto.
Karen White, David MacNaughtan, and their sons, Griffin and Finlay, hang out on the front deckof their narrow home in Toronto’s leafy Roncesvalles neighborhood. A narrow modernist composition of glass panes and purple brick, the house slips like a bookmark between two older buildings, a bright three-story abode on a lot narrower than most suburban driveways.  Photo by Dean Kaufman. Read more about the small house here.
1 / 5
Converted Singapore shophouse.
Because this house, in a converted 19th-century Singapore shophouse, is narrow and long (16 by 68 feet), the design team decided to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally. Two retractable motor-driven canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains. Photo by Richard Powers. Learn more about the challenges of the renovation.
2 / 5
Narrow brick house in Harlem, New York.
Yvette Leeper-Bueno and Adrian Bueno’s home, on West 112th Street in New York City, is recognizable by its two-story bay window angled to bring light and views into the dark, narrow structure. "There’s a threshold of planting between the outside and inside,” says architect Laura Briggs, citing the blooming boxes on the sidewalk, the rear deck, and the master-suite terrace (above the bay window). Photo by Adam Friedberg. See how the rooms stack up inside the narrow shell.
3 / 5
Narrow kitchen in New York City small apartment.
Living small is par for the course in New York City, but accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation. Scott Oliver and Margarita McGrath of noroof architects created many clever built-ins and transformable furniture in this apartment. Photo by Raimund Koch. See how the rooms transform in this extended slideshow.
4 / 5
House in Toronto on small lot.
Toronto designer Julia Knezic built this house for her own family in a narrow lot next to her mom's house. Photo by Sean Galbraith. Check out the interiors here.
5 / 5
Narrow brick house in Toronto.
Karen White, David MacNaughtan, and their sons, Griffin and Finlay, hang out on the front deckof their narrow home in Toronto’s leafy Roncesvalles neighborhood. A narrow modernist composition of glass panes and purple brick, the house slips like a bookmark between two older buildings, a bright three-story abode on a lot narrower than most suburban driveways.  Photo by Dean Kaufman. Read more about the small house here.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016