The Tiny Town - MnM Design | ArchiPro

The Tiny Town

Our clients' most important requirements were: multi-generational use and site sharing (building a minor dwelling on an established section in addition to the main house). The idea is for the young family to live in the minor dwelling mortgage free, for the next 10 years. After that the boys (teenagers) will need more space, but the client’s parents in the main house may need less space. At this point they will swap houses, still have the space everyone needs and they can stay in the same location for many more years to come.

The house has to be built on a restricted building platform on an established site. Which in this case means huge trees on the eastern side of the dwelling, the driveway running along the southern side and the main house on the west. The size was determined by the council’s district plan with a maximum of 60m2 for a second (or minor) dwelling. And because the clients want to build mortgage free the budget is small too.

60m2 for a family of 4 (at the time we first met them...now a family of 6) may not sound spacious. Yet in a lot of countries around the world 60m2 has proven to be sufficient for a family.

If you can tailor the layout to suit the family’s everyday life and make the most of every m3, small doesn’t have to feel small.

The clients asked for an open plan house with a good connection to the outside, but also to create a private family home away from the views of the main house and driveway.

A shared family area with kitchen, dining and lounge for the family to gather.

But also a generous dedicated kids play and sleep area. Which has to cater for different levels of play (very important with 4 boys of varying ages).

Last but not least the master bedroom has to be a private space just for the parents.

Materials request is simple: use timber and metal. We have used a rib profile metal and Siberian larch cladding.

The most important design feature is the starting point: the house is designed from the inside out.The limited interior space, the furniture that is going to be custom made by the owner and the way the house is going to be used were the leading aspects for this design.

Another design decision that hugely impacts on the space is the fact that all the spaces are linked to the outside in different ways. The garden becomes an

extended part of the house. A big covered deck area adjacent to the living room acts as an extra (outdoor) room.

We have designed an open plan area and private spaces back-to-back with storage space running in between as a buffer. The house has a big overhang on the northern side and plenty of glass. The open plan area opens up to the covered deck, this way the living room almost doubles in size and can be opened  up rain or shine.

The shape of the house is basic, a flat rectangle apart from the pop-up roof that houses the kids area, and the big covered deck.

The pop-up roof in the kids area is a good example of using every m3 of space to the max, every different level within this space has their own window which helps define different ‘rooms’ within the space. For example the older kids can go higher up and have some privacy away from the younger ones. This way they can all create their own space within the room.

The extra height also gives the room a certain

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