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LOOK: This 17sqm Home Is The Smallest We’ve Seen!

This compact space isn’t all about minimalism or budget—it’s about the sheer joy of small spaces

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Photography: Greg Cox/bureaux.co.za Styling: Sven Alberding/bureaux.co.za

South African architect Clara da Cruz Almeida was trying to come up with practical advice for a recent intern—a former student who had moved back home, and was now camping in his mother’s garage while commuting to work in the city. The disconnect between this student’s two spaces rankled.

“I told him he had to invest in property before buying a car,” Clara says, adding that a car would only lose money. But, when they started looking at options, they quickly realized that purchasing the usual house-and-lot would be completely beyond his budget. She then proposed a more novel solution: what if the student could just purchase a house, and negotiate for a lease on land?  

Clara’s idea was to create a pre-fabricated, compact housing module: one that could stand alone, or be integrated with other units, that could fit into a backyard or side space of an existing house, and which could, on its own, be mortgaged in the same way as a conventional property.

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The architect explains this concept: “You bring the house, someone else provides the land, you sign an agreement, and then you can build up your savings until you’re able to buy your own property, or you simply move the house when you’re ready to move. It can be your site office during construction, or it could become a beach house. Or the landowner could buy the house from you, and use it for rental accommodation."

Images from www.bureaux.co.za. 

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