Sydney  Australia  –  Domenic Alvaro Architect


Lot size:     46 m2 (497 sq. ft.)
Built Area:
      200 sqm
Year built:    2011
Photography:   Trevor Mein

Let’s just start by getting this into perspective… think of a double garage. Got it pictured? That’s probably 36 m2 internally! Now add an area 5 metres x 2 metres. Now put an ultra-modern, very light and bright, five story home – complete with gardens – on that lot! We’re impressed and hope that you are!

Small House by Domenic Alvaro Architect
Night in the roof garden

What is possibly most remarkable about this home is that the lot had lain vacant, unloved and unwanted for decades. Every possible purchaser saw it as too small to do anything with. And then along came architect, Domenic Alvaro. Dominic wanted to live in the city. But decent sized apartments were way out of his budget.  He saw this lot and quickly realised that the entire precinct was zoned for high-rise. All it needed was the right imagination!

The streets are narrow. That meant that lots of material deliveries would be difficult. For example, streets would be blocked during concrete pours, The solution came with another unconventional approach… the entire home, walls and floors, were precast off-site and delivered and erected in just four days! The result is a virtually maintenance-free, immensely strong home.

Each floor of the home contains one room – a garage on the ground floor, bedroom and en-suite bathroom on the first floor, a comfortable living room on the second, kitchen/dining on the third floor and finally, an office and fabulous roof top garden on the top level. Each floor in connected by a floating staircase that is open so as to maximise visual space.

Small House by Domenic Alvaro Architect
The kitchen-dining level

Major Awards:
World House of the Year:   
World Architecture Festival 2011, Barcelona
AIA:   National Award for Small Project Architecture 2011
AIA:   NSW Award for Small Project Architecture 2011
AIA:   Residential Architecture Award, Single Housing 2011

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