A Very Small House Finds Space For A Charming Little Inner Courtyard And A Tree

Architects face challenges all the time. Every project is unique and special, especially when it comes to meeting the requirements of each client. When building the S House, Simple Projects Architecture had to work with a very limited site area. The house is located in Surabaya, in Indonesia and has a total living space of 295 square meters which is definitely surprising considering the fact that the site only measures 10m by 19m across.

The house sits on a small site, occupying it almost to the limit, with little space between it and its neighborsView in gallery
The house sits on a small site, occupying it almost to the limit, with little space between it and its neighbors
The internal spaces are small but open, bright and very welcoming, like the living area for instanceView in gallery
The internal spaces are small but open, bright and very welcoming, like the living area for instance

The project was developed in 2016. The brief was to create a modern house, one that would be space-efficient (obviously) practical, comfortable and visually pleasing. In addition to all that, the project had a limited budget which made things even more challenging and tricky. The biggest challenge of all was working with the very small site dimensions without making the house seem tiny. The architect in charge of it all managed to find great solutions for all the problems.

Despite the reduced overall dimensions, the house even has an inner courtyardView in gallery
Despite the reduced overall dimensions, the house even has an inner courtyard
The Staircase is simple, featuring a combination of wood and metal, being designed to take up little spaceView in gallery
The Staircase is simple, featuring a combination of wood and metal, being designed to take up little space

The house is indeed small and yet it doesn’t look or feel tiny. It has this great social area with a shared kitchen, dining room and living space. it’s a very welcoming and comfortable room with simple and elegant furniture, a stylish area rug and great light fixtures. Speaking of which, given how close the house is to its neighbors and to the street, a compromise had to be made and solid walls were used instead of full-height windows which would have minimized the privacy.

The living area has access to the small interior garden space with fresh greeneryView in gallery
The living area has access to the small interior garden space with fresh greenery
There's not much natural lighting in the house but it's all compensated for with beautiful fixturesView in gallery
There’s not much natural lighting in the house but it’s all compensated for with beautiful fixtures
The living space, dining are and the kitchen share the same open plan, with matching light fixturesView in gallery
The living space, dining are and the kitchen share the same open plan, with matching light fixtures

What makes this house truly special and what inspires us the most is the fact that, in spite of all the limitations and challenges, the architect gave it not only a set of beautiful and comfortable spaces but also a lovely inner courtyard with an actual tree growing through the floor. The tree pierces the floor and the ceiling and the living space has its own little interior garden which brightens up the decor.

The interior design is simple throughout, being defined by linear forms and the occasional curvesView in gallery
The interior design is simple throughout, being defined by linear forms and the occasional curves
The bedroom is small but doesn't lack natural or artificial lighting and it feels really cozy and invitingView in gallery
The bedroom is small but doesn’t lack natural or artificial lighting and it feels really cozy and inviting
The bedroom has access to a tiny courtyard area too. It's adjacent to a space that has a tree growing through itView in gallery
The bedroom has access to a tiny courtyard area too. It’s adjacent to a space that has a tree growing through it

Comfort and spatial efficiency were the two major priorities of the project and the architect responded to them by creating a simple layout with open plan spaces, high ceilings, pleasant artificial lighting and even added the courtyard which is an unexpected but very welcomed feature. The tree is the focal point of the foyer and the living room and it even extends its charm over the bedroom which is adjacent to the little courtyard.

The tree pierces the floor and is beautifully and quite naturally integrated into the design of the houseView in gallery
The tree pierces the floor and is beautifully and quite naturally integrated into the design of the house
There's natural light coming from above and wood on the floor, surrounding the treeView in gallery
There’s natural light coming from above and wood on the floor, surrounding the tree
This is a look from below, showing the concrete floor which wraps itself around the tree, leaving it sufficient room to growView in gallery
This is a look from below, showing the concrete floor which wraps itself around the tree, leaving it sufficient room to grow