The number of floors a house has can depend on a variety of different factors and it’s usually structured that occupies very small plots which are more likely to be developed vertically.
Modern one-story houses are however quite common as well, especially when the main focus of the design is to develop a strong relationship between the indoor spaces and the surrounding outdoor areas. We’ll have a look at a few such houses and check out their architecture, design and other notable features.
The Tigh Port One Story Longhouse – Scotland
This beautiful house is situated on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. It’s a very beautiful area with magnificent views and a gorgeous landscape. The house was designed and built by studio Dualchas Architects and it has a really simple overall aesthetic. It’s only one story high which gives it a fairly modest appearance but also helps it to better blend in with the surroundings.
It was important for the house to share a good relationship with its surroundings as the owners wanted to be able to spend as much time outdoors as possible. It was structured in a way that allows the indoor spaces to be extended outside and to frame beautiful views in three different directions. The kitchen for example leads onto a terrace that gets filled with sunlight early in the morning and the dining area has its own terrace which gets sunlight during the afternoon.
Pavillon du Lac One Storey – Canada
This is a small but very charming and stylish house situated at the edge of a forest with a beautiful view towards the lake. It’s located in the St. Bruno de Mortarville region of Canada and the landscape out here is absolutely gorgeous. There’s trees all around the house and lots of vegetation and the site slopes gently towards the lake which gives a really nice view.
The house was designed and built by studio Daoust Lestage and had to abide by a few restrictions. For instance, it needed to fit on the footprint of an existing cabin and could not go over 115 square meters as a whole. It was important for the house to also respect its immediate surroundings in order for this to be a successful project so the trees were carefully preserved and the building remained only one story tall. To make up for that the architects enveloped it in transparent glass walls allowing it to be open on all sides and to take full advantage of the views.
The Lake Manitouwabing Residence – Canada
This plot of land was previously occupied by a 1930s house and in 2018 that was replaced with a beautiful new residence which can be enjoyed all year round. The project was done by studio MJMA. The site has a really beautiful orientation which actually makes this a waterfront home. A main objective throughout the design process was to maximize the connection with the outdoors and to put an emphasis on the beautiful views.
The simple geometry of the house and rectangular floor plan allow many of the interior spaces to be extended outside. The floor plan has also been carved out to create a courtyard with a big rock in the middle. There’s also a screened porch which can be opened up as needed. The interior is organized into two main volumes. All the social areas are facing S-W and all the private rooms and oriented towards N-E. In between them is the outdoor living area.
A contemporary house in England
The modern one-story house that you see now takes the place of a bungalow which was originally built in 1917. The new structure was designed to serve as a retirement home for its owners, a place where they can retreat and enjoy the peace and tranquility and the beautiful views that this site has to offer. This was a project completed by studio Ström Architects.
The house is located in Swanage, England and has beautiful old trees and lots of greenery around it. The plan was to make it very accessible and convenient for the owners so a one-story design was chosen. That eliminates any staircases that would make this place less comfortable and easy to use. At the same time, the architects made sure to include large openings that allow the interior spaces to feel bright and airy and that encourage the inhabitants to spend lots of time outside or to enjoy the lovely views and the sunlight from indoors.
The RiM One Story House – Spain
Studio RM Arquitectura worked on a really cool project back in 2018 which involved designing and building a modern one-story house located on the north coast of Mallorca, in Spain. The area out here is really beautiful and the plot is surrounded by a wooded area with lots of pine, oak and olive trees. The challenge of this project was making sure the house can look and feel very open and airy during the spring and summer period but also can also be sheltered and cozy during winter.
To allow this duality of the design to come to life, the architects built the house on a single floor and creates a series of large outdoor living areas and terraces. They included a swimming pool in the backyard and incorporated various openings in the facade which facilitate cross ventilation. These openings are basically a series of vertical slats that let the air and some light inside without completely exposing the indoor areas.
Villa Mandra – Greece
The beautiful island Mykonos in Greece has delightful views of the sea Villa Mandra is one of the many structures which take advantage of that. This gorgeous house was designed by K-Studio and built here in 2020 using a range of natural and locally-sourced materials which allow it to look like a part of the landscape. It’s designed as a relaxing summer home, a place that lets the inhabits get in touch with nature and explore these beautiful surroundings.
The climate in this region can be quite unforgiving during summer so the architects had to make all these beautiful and expansive outdoor areas were also comfortable to be in during the day. They had to be sheltered from the harsh sun without blocking the panorama and while showing respect for the natural surroundings. This ended up being a wonderfully complex project and a very inspiring one as well.
A beautiful hillside home – Arizona
This was a project completed by studio Kendle Design Collaborative. The house was designed for a family who wanted to simplify their lifestyle and wished to move into a smaller home which would allow them to be closer to nature and to feel welcomed and cozy. The house is situated in Paradise Valley, Arizona, an area with a rather harsh climate and a landscape dominated by earthy colors.
The architects used a selection of very simple and humble materials which were locally-sources. What’s particularly interesting is their choice of rammed earth walls which give the house an authentic and modest vibe. These were mixed with lots of natural wood for the interior which creates a warm and inviting ambiance and with limestone floors for a fresh and modern vibe. Accent materials such as Corten steel used for the outdoor planter beds establish a nice visual connection with the surrounding landscape.
A single-level family home – Australia
Have you ever wondered how an architect would design their own dream home? Well, this is a beautiful example. This is the home of architect Sarah Waller which she designed herself. She chose a single-story structure which allowed the house to spread more across the landscape and to enjoy a closer relationship to the outdoors from each and every room. The design is inspired by mid-century modern homes but has been simplified and customized.
As a whole, the house looks and feels very spacious, open and airy. It has a simple and linear layout which allows the interior areas to be open towards the exterior while also maintaining their privacy. Large sliding glass doors leads out onto a beautiful green lawn which then steps down to frame an in-ground swimming pool. There’s large wooden deck areas and outdoor lounge spaces which ensure a very seamless and casual connection between the cozy indoor spaces and the great outdoors.
The Hamra residence – Sweden
It’s a small and modest house but it has such a big character. The Hamra residence was a project completed in 2017 by Collectif Encore and measures 130 square meters in total. It’s basically a modern apartment but in a totally different setting than the typical urban area filled with noise and pollution. this lovely home has a classic pitched roof but inside everything is organized on a single level. That gives the spaces these tall ceilings which create a sense of space and openness but also makes them feel cozy.
One of the objectives was to diversify the array of usable spaces and to create a balanced mix of indoor and outdoor areas which can be enjoyed throughout the day and for various types of activities. In order to achieve that the architects created facades that can be opened in order to welcome the outdoors in and to facilitate circulation from one side to the other. The interior is generally meant to be a collage of multifunctional spaces which means even though the house is small it doesn’t really lack any features.