Micro-solutions for Small Houses

Micro-solutions represent, nowadays, the big challenge to respond to the increasingly need for Small houses.

Welcome to the first appointment of our new column dedicated to Small Houses. This theme is particularly dear to us, as it is increasingly relevant. The crisis, that the modern city is experiencing, is a big problem to solve. Cities are experimenting a constant increase in the population and a drastic reduction in its spaces. As a result this leads to a reflection rather than logic. Does it still make sense to build big houses? Or rather, is there still space or time for large areas?

By now the concept of home has completely changed his face and to reflect on an old model of home, it no longer makes any sense. Contexts with increasingly higher density, spaces ever smaller, family groups up to two people. This is the reality we are  certainly called to answer. Not to mention the time factor, the increasingly reduced one we spend in our homes.

The Micro-Machine and The Micro-Block

Today the best solution is the Small House: a few, very few square meters, but thought for a maximum functionality. But how can you optimize the use of space? This column was thought specifically to answer this question, with 10 examples of micro-solutions, which have successfully overcome this challenge. Let’s start immediately with the discovery of the first two models: the Micro-Machine and the Micro-Block.

1.The Micro-Machine

“When we trim the excess, we become happier humans. This Micro-Apartment is the extreme expression of this philosophy.”-Graham Hill


This very successful example of a micro-apartment, comes from the will of Graham Hill, founder of the Tree Hugger sustainability website. The project is part of the Life Edited initiative, which aims to demonstrate how even small surfaces can  certainly contain everything you need to be able to have an efficient home. This apartment represents an example of micro-solutions and it is located in New York, in the Soho district and represents a real challenge enclosed in 33 square meters. As a result it has a single room hosts an entrance hall, two bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen, a dining room, an office and a bathroom. How? Playing with multi-functionality and operating at different time levels. All in the name of an eco-sustainable project.

  • The Micro-Machine_first configuration
  • The Micro-Machine_second configuration
  • The Micro-Machine_third configuration
  • The Micro-Machine_fourth configuration
  • The Micro-Machine_fifth configuration

“A home that functions like one twice its size” – Graham Hill

The basic idea, the concept from which the project moves, is above all to operate on the furnishing elements. A real Micro-Machine, where every single gear has its fundamental importance. The gears are the furniture, which together are able to create a system capable of modeling space and having a multifunctional use. Furnishing elements thought and designed according to multiple perspectives. So they can have different functions and occupy different spaces. For example, the living room table, which can once be a coffee table, can become a real table, capable of seating up to ten guests. The magic of a custom design, entrusted to the Resource Furniture group. Micro-solutions for micro-apartments.

It is essential, therefore, in a small-sized house to work on the furnishing elements. Always choose custom designed furniture, capable of meeting the challenge of functionality, without compromising the use of space!

  • The Micro-Machine_bedroom1
  • The Micro-Machine_dining room
  • The Micro-Machine_bedroom2
  • The Micro-Machine_kitchen

This apartment is also characterized by a very high technological level. A smart and super-equipped house, able to respond to any need in very short times and spaces. Keyless entry via smartphone, smartphone and voice control for fans, music and movie systems are just some of the services that this home can provide.

The Micro-Machine_Office+bathroom

2.The Micro-Block

“Within a compact footprint, the architect and developer team prioritised providing residents with as much volume, light, air and views out to the neighbourhoods as possible” -Resource Furniture


Four towers located in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, in New York. As a result the apartments are 55 and range from a minimum of 23 to a maximum of 34 square meters. The project is signed by the nARCHITECTS architecture firm. A surely very small surface for the standard of this neighborhood. But the challenge started precisely from this consideration: the desire to create homes in line with the new face of this great metropolis. Different houses for a different target. No longer the social exclusivism associated with these highly placed neighborhoods, but the opening towards a mix of users with certainly lower incomes, consisting mainly of students, singles and artists. There are two questions to be answered through the project: the change in lifestyle and the ever smaller families.

The Micro-Block_plan configuration

“nARCHITECTS designed the interior of the units to create a sense of spaciousness, comfort and flexibility”-Resource Furniture

The living area becomes a bedroom. An immediate and space-saving solution that allows you to exploit the same environment, giving it different functions. But without ever losing the spaciousness. Because this is always the biggest challenge: to combine convenience and functionality in those that are the most used environments. These housing units combine the convenience of an affordable price, with services worthy of a luxury accommodation. The entire furniture package, entrusted to the company Resource Furniture, takes the name of Ollie, in a phonetic game that recalls All Inclusive, while the additional services are called Hello Alfred, like a real butler.

The idea of a sofa + bedroom package is certainly to be copied. It represents an optimal solution for an environment that is not too small, but whose surface we do not want to give up. You can attribute two different functions to your space for two different time levels: living room by day, spacious and functional bedroom by night.

  • The Micro-Block_living room
  • The Micro-Block_bedroom

The solution is the Micro-Block. What is it? The use of modular prefabricated housing units. The individual modules have been prefabricated off-site, in Brooklin to be then assembled and placed on site. Towers of single pre-made units. The advantage is maximum economy and rapidity of realization. Reduced costs and reduced time.

The Micro-Block_modular prefabricated housing units

What do you think of these first two micro-apartment projects? Which solution do you prefer? We greet you and give you an appointment at the next article in this section. Because even small spaces can hide maximum efficiency. Like the Mary Poppins’ bag!

CREDITS_The Micro-Machine
City: New York (USA)
Architects: Life Edited; Design team: Resource Furniture
Sitography: http://lifeedited.com/ ; https://resourcefurniture.com/ 

CREDITS_The Micro-Block
City: New York (USA)
Architects: nARCHITECTS; Design team: Resource Furniture; Photo Credits: Field Condition
Sitography: http://narchitects.com/ ; https://resourcefurniture.com/