Anti-Cutesy: A Tiny House that Masters Minimalism

updated May 3, 2019
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The tendency of tiny houses is to be a bit cutesy—like a little dollhouse that you can (just barely) fit inside. This tiny Korean house retains the familiar shape that comes to mind when we think of the word “house”, with its comforting, pitched roof, but that’s where the similarities to a child’s toy end. Inside and out, this house is completely modern, with a sleek, even austere minimalism that works particularly well for a scaled-down space.

(Image credit: Arch Daily)

The little house was designed with a very specific purpose in mind: expanding the limited accommodations in Gangwon-do, South Korea, set to be the host city for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. To preserve the natural beauty of the area, the house was designed with the goal of using as few materials as possible, and in the most environmentally friendly way.

The layout of the little house is quite simple: you enter through the unit’s small kitchen, and then find yourself in the unit’s living room, which, uncluttered by furniture (at least in the photos), actually seems quite spacious. To your left there’s a set of sliding doors which leads to a small patio.

Next to the kitchen is the bathroom. There’s no shower enclosure; instead, the whole room is a wet room. Without a shower enclosure breaking up the space, the bathroom feels almost roomy…almost. Above the bathroom and kitchen is the sleeping loft, accessed by a particularly clever set of steps, with storage underneath. The steeply pitched roof means that, unlike a lot of other lofted bedrooms in tiny houses, this one actually has a decent amount of head room.

This would certainly be a lovely space to stay on vacation, but I wouldn’t mind sticking around much longer. The steeply peaked roof gives the house a cozy feel, and the very minimal (and clever) detailing makes it seem quite spacious—the best of both worlds, in only 213 square feet.

To see more of this tiny house, check out the project page at Arch Daily.