Gallery: XXS HOUSE


Deviating slightly from our Prefab Friday norm, XXS exemplifies an essential trait of prefab: spatial efficiency.

If good things come in small packages, then the eXtra-eXtra-Small House is as good as it gets. The dimensions of the XXS house, located in a small historic town in Slovenia, were dictated by law to fall within the measurements of the preexisting house on the site, leaving just 43m-sq (approx 460ft-sq) of potential space. But the house successfully incorporates all the necessities.

The first floor contains a small kitchen, dining, living area, a full wall of storage and a bathroom; and incredibly, the second floor accommodates two bedrooms. A carefully placed light well allows plenty of daylight in despite the house’s northern orientation. The operable floor to ceiling window in the living area extends the interior space by opening onto an exterior porch.

Architect Dekleva Gregoric‘s design was motivated by efficiency of both space and materials. While the staircase looks a bit precarious, the design required remarkably little material and still functions as a regular set of stairs. Of course, skipping steps is not recommended.

+ Via: Arkinetia
+ Dekleva Gregoric Architects


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  1. bill November 17, 2006 at 1:07 am

    this is a beautiful house. if you like tadao ando type spaces (like i do), you can’t help but drool. i wonder what the cost on this project was, though. i agree with those of you that are tired of seeing small spaces that have big price tags. even the Katrina Cottage… i’ve seen articles claiming a cost of $35K, $60K & the other day i read that the ones out now actually cost a “prototype cost” of around $300K… for a 350 – 525 SF shotgun (that in my opinion is not well layed out). my design focuses on affordable housing, & when i say affordable i mean challenges like creating a two bedroom house for $20,000 complete! yes it sounds unobtainable… we’ll see. that’s my current challenge for a non-profit trying to help a Katrina victim. i consider my work “high design”, so my goal is to provide what i call Champagne wishes in a Styrofoam cup”. i don’t know if i can do it for 20… we’ll soon see. they want to start building the end of the year!

    — love this site. great reads.
    cheers… //b/

  2. glenn September 8, 2006 at 11:33 am

    This is a beautiful design, but still makes the mistake of using traditional building methods.
    I too have been searching for very small living spaces, and am pretty much resigned to just doing it myself.
    Why aren’t small houses designed around the modular concept?
    The central module being the one with the utilities, which you then plug the others in to. (or stack, or assemble)
    This is not only portable, but cheaper and more efficient.
    Frankly, I am sick of small houses for rich people ! !

  3. Evelyn September 1, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Yes Richie – but you forgot the limitations of the Historic Building site. The designers had to stay within the building Envelope of the Existing Building and you have to take into consideration that this simply a vacation home. Who does Laundry on vacation?

  4. Richie August 15, 2006 at 11:14 am

    Great Start.. needs more…

    15 x 30 = 450 square feet. Double that with a second floor and the house is small but habitable. This design is very sleek and has great asthetic value. It also seems to use cost effective materials to maximum effect. Are those fibrous cement boards, cladding the exterior… and are they screwed, or bolted, into the frame ? Is it a steel ‘moment’ frame, or wood ? What material was used as roofing ? Some points:
    (1) Those stairs are cool, but they would benefit from having white oak treds bolted on, with rounded forward edges. Bare metal will hurt when someone stubbs their toes.
    (2) Not having a bathroom on the 2nd floor, to compliment the 2 bedrooms, is a serious oversight. And there seems to be room for one directly over the 1st floor bath ?
    (3) Where is the Launry/Utility room, alcove, or closet ?
    (4) Having 3 stories would have been much better. How much more could that have cost ? The 3rd story/attic space could have been left largely unfinished to start. A finish it later kind of thing.
    (5) If kept to only 2 storys, having a 9′ ceiling height on the 1st floor, and a 10′ height for the 2nd floor would have been nice.

    All in all a great start. These designers have amazing promise. I expetc more great things from them.

    Richie K

  5. Laren Corie August 15, 2006 at 12:02 am

    It is an interesting design. Every site and owner requires different solutions, especially when design/building a very small house, where all of the unneccessary stuff must be excluded. We discuss this topic continually in the
    “LittleHouses” YahooGroup. ( ) There are also some designs on my website ( ). BTW, I have a similarly steep stairway in my own home. However, mine has a handrail (rustic, made from a curved tree branch) on one side, and a wall on the other. Still, I find myself using the actual stairs as a handhold (sort of like a ladder), as much as the railing. Mine does not have the
    alternating treads, so would be classified more as a ‘ship’s ladder’ design.

    -Laren Corie-
    Natural Solar Building Design Since 1975

  6. Jaggae August 14, 2006 at 11:58 am

    That is a very minimalist looking house. However, it does need some colour. That staircase is not exactly very safe is it? Definitely not to be attempted on cloudy days, without the light on.

  7. TonTon August 14, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Here is yet another prefab house (i think) which is actually in production.
    It is produced in Sweden.

  8. Hugo da Conceição August 13, 2006 at 9:26 am

    I wonder when are all this cool projects stop being just projects?! I’ve been searching deeply in the web for new house design, specially prefab and I found some really good ideias. There’s just one problem: they are so damn expensive! I’m trying to build my home, here at Portugal – Europe and I just can find something afordable. It’s amazing… (on the bad side).

  9. Alex August 11, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Very cool little house! I like it. With such a small place, the minimalistic clean design really helps.

  10. Sarah August 11, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks for being so astute, Andrew and Joe. I should have fact checked this last night! You are right, it’s about 460 square feet.

  11. andrew s August 11, 2006 at 8:07 pm


    i’m not sure if the poster meant there was only 104sq ft left on the lot after putting the house in?
    anyway the web site says “surface: 43 m2″, this equates to about 400 sq ft, so im thinking this is the real sq ft of the house.

  12. Joe August 11, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    Sorry, but there is just no way that this house has a footprint of 104sqft. In support, it is important to point out that a 10ft wide by 10ft long room is 100sqft. Are you really suggesting that two bedrooms fit into the even smaller upstairs loft of the house also within the roughly 10 by 10 foot space? Moreover, are we to believe that all of this fits into the space that “Tumbleweed Tiny Houses” claims to contain in their buildings?

    Look, I have a 10ft by 12 ft 120sqft accessory building in my backyard, and from personal design experience, I can tell you that you will be hard pressed to fit a table and chairs, stairs, a bathroom, an entry closet, a couple of more living room chairs, a wall of storage and a kitchen counter into a room of that size.

    I often trawl the internet and other sources for cutting edge tiny house design. I dig it; it’s my thing, and there’s not allot out there. This looks like a very well designed space that deserves major accolades for its timely, visionary, and user-friendly design. I love it, but it isn’t 104sqft. The future is all about small. Live it!

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