Skinny home design: the answer for future cities?

With more and more people migrating to cities across the globe, the question of affordable housing has become a hot topic not only for the public but for designers as well.

The effect of the increased population can be seen all around - newly developed apartments, urban sprawls stretching out for kilometers (Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria will be one giant residential sprawl in the future if expansion continues the way it does) and the upgrading of city centres (The Maboneng District is an example of this.)

However some designers are looking at the problem from a different perspective. In the swell of expansion, they ask - what if we went thinner?

Danish designers Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann have created a series of clever urban concepts that could occupy the residual spaces between buildings, yet remain lit with natural daylighting and looking surprisingly spacious.

Titled "Live Between Buildings," the project proposes several designs sited in various cities like New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Helsinki and London. Coming in various configurations, the surfaces are all covered with transparent roof windows to let the maximum amount of light in.

The drawback to these designs are that they aren’t for those with disabilities or very nimble limbs. But the spatial overlapping allows for a lot of different functions to be potentially packed in, while leaving some room for fun things - such as climbing wall (because why not?)

Measuring less than 4 meters wide, we've seen how well-designed skinny houses can and do actually work, be they are in Japan or the United Kingdom. With reasonable regulatory oversight, this is an idea worth exploring: as affordable urban space becomes scarce, filling in the residual spaces between existing buildings may be one way to maximize use of urban land, rather than having cities and suburbs sprawling out unsustainably to eat up arable land.

?(All images copyrighted to Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann) 

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us