The size of the lot often contributes to the design concept of a project. Having a limited space to build can be a challenge for the architects. But it can also be an opportunity for them to come up with creative solutions to create a built environment that meets the needs of the users. Davao-based architecture studio Basa Architecture and Design Practice, for instance, was commissioned to design a house within a small lot with limited budget.

House entrance

The client wanted to create a functional and tranquil living space for their grandparents despite the budget constraints and property area of just 36 square meters. According to the architects, the design strategy aimed to maximize the space’s potential and original purpose, while striking a balance between functionality and budget considerations.

House facade
main entrance
tiny house in Davao

The central design challenge focused on optimizing the interior space and its potential uses. They considered the user’s needs and site context, all without expanding the building’s footprint. To tackle this, the design team introduced a bay window which serves a versatile role. It makes the most of the restricted space but also provides a spot for meditation. Additionally, it functions as a daybed while enriching the overall architectural composition.

This approach also allows for adaptable seating arrangements, crucial for Filipinos who value communal feasting or “Salo-Salo” culture. The architects managed to incorporate two bedrooms, a central toilet and bath, and decent-sized kitchen. There’s dining space for four and a living area with a flexible layout.

jalousie window details
window details of the tiny house
patio details
patio and windows
window details

This architectural concept stands as a pivotal functional feature and the defining essence of the entire structure. The operable window of the bay window offers flexibility in controlling airflow and sunlight penetration. The focus on crafting this window lies in its ability to adapt to exterior elements. The vertical wooden slats, locally sourced from a city woodcraft shop, offer partial privacy and a sense of enclosure. Jalousie windows provide the next layer. They regulate airflow and safeguard against rain, while still permitting natural light to filter through the glass.

kitchen and dining areas
living area
view from the window

Opening the window fully reduces the need for electric lighting during the day. This is a notable advantage, especially in an area with inconsistent electricity supply.

In crafting this ingenious living space within the constraints of both budget and square footage, the architects met the practical needs of their clients and created a haven of comfort and functionality for the grandparents. This project reflects the power of creativity and ingenuity in transforming limited spaces into places of warmth and solace. 

Read more: Burt Little Home: Small House Design by the Sea

Photos Courtesy of Basa Architecture and Design Practice

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]