Weekend retreat in a Small House

Welcome back to the sixth appointment in our section dedicated to Small Houses. A column that starts from the desire to make this new concept of home and urban living better known. Two fundamental questions from which this column is born: does it still make sense to build big houses? Or rather, is there still space or time for large areas?

Today the best solution is the Small House: a few, very few square meters that can hide a maximum functionality. But how can you optimize the use of space? How to best design a little space to get your dream home? Through 10 examples of micro-houses, we want you to experience the hidden potential behind these little jewels.

Weekend retreat solutions for Small Houses

Today we want to talk about the possibility of having a second micro-house, which represents for us the ideal refuge from the hectic weekly life. A real weekend retreat, therefore, through your own home.  As a result you can have the convenience of a second solution, but through a considerable saving of money, time and surface. All in very few square meters, which thus become the ideal reason to escape from the city on weekends. Let’s discover together this interesting solution: the Micro-Cabin.

9.The Micro-Cabin

“I started to plan and build the house in the mist when I left my parents home, so it’s a very nostalgic project”-said Alfonso Arango, architect.

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  • Weekend retreat solutions_plan1

The architect Alfonso Arango designs a house of only 24 square meters, a real cube with a very small volume. We are in the Colombian Andes and more precisely in the city of La Colera, which is near the capital Bogotà. Two cities particularly dear to the architect. The former in fact represents his childhood, the place where his roots can be found, the second is, therefore, the place of adulthood, working life and professional growth. But who says that the two cannot be combined?

In this project the client and the architect are the same. It is probably for this reason that the challenge becomes even more difficult. It becomes surely even more difficult to satisfy yourself completely. The request? Being able to relive the places of one’s childhood, through a second small (or rather very small) house, which becomes the ideal refuge for weekends. A few square meters in which to take off from everything and be able to read your work through a more emotional and heartfelt interpretation.

The architect aims, first of all, for simplicity. Essential lines and geometries, the use of few materials and neutral colors, that act as a common thread between the exterior and interior. The external structure is in wood with glass windows. It is precisely the openings that constitute one of the strong points of the work. They work like frames and open glimpses of breathtaking views. As a result they become filters through which to scan the outside.

Designed as a weekend getaway, the cabin has compact proportions that offer just enough space for a kitchen, bathroom and living area, which Arango will also use as a studio – and a mezzanine bedroom. Inside, Arango chose white flooring and a paler wood to line the walls, as a contrast to the dark exterior. He told that, as a result, he is currently in the process of picking his furniture.


“I will use the house as a weekend house, so I can work on my projects at the end of the week with fresh air away from the city, and also to visit my grandma.”-said Alfonso Arango, architect.

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  • Weekend retreat solutions_exterior-interior
  • Weekend retreat solutions_interior

A weekend retreat solution, therefore. A second home that has the flavor of a refuge, of the desire to leave behind the frenetic pace of the city and to enjoy moments of solitude in the midst of nature.

The house represents surely a real place of escape, a pause, a moment all for ourself. During the week, in fact, the architect lives in Bogotà and it is only during the weekend that he can enjoy moments of total detachment from the frenetic rhythms, that characterize the urban territory. And what a better way to enjoy a second home? A micro-house that becomes a weekend retreat, able to satisfy the needs of the client, but at the same time to overcome the constraints of a first home. A home that is more, but at the same time indispensable.

Reduced surfaces, very small areas. But it is precisely in this minimalism, which reduces everything to what is strictly necessary, that it is possible to find oneself. A space that welcomes, therefore, the idea both of staying and of being able to work in peace. The right combination of mind and spirit, as a result: the idea of giving a new charge to our mind and regenerating our spirit.


“The roof is proposed as a high garden where birds and winds bring a wide variety of seeds and spores of the endemic flora, allowing free and spontaneous vegetation growth of a garden a few metres near the skies,”-said the architect Alfonso Arango.

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The cabin is a simple structure, comprising a pair of 4.2-metre square slabs that form the floor and the rooftop, which is covered in greenery. The structure is therefore made up of two trays that act as floor and cover. And it is precisely above this that the architect wants to focus. A real terrace with a view, enriched by the presence of plants and essences, which add a green touch to this home, already conceived in the key of sustainability.

What do you think of this little second home? Would you also like to give yourself a weekend retreat like this? We greet you and give you appointment at the next and last article in this column.

If you have missed previous appointments, we leave the links here:
See you next time!

CREDITS_The Micro-Cabin
City: La Colera, Colombia
Architects: Alfonso Arango; Garden roof: María Camila Moreno
Photo Credits: Alfonso Arango
Sitography: https://archello.com/brand/alfonso-arango-arquitecto