Lately I espoused the benefits of multi-family housing, many that fell into urban contexts. To further highlight modern city living, in addition, there are single-family homes created for the same environment. These examples illustrate how architects take advantage of comparatively small lots (many are infill lots, together with buildings on each side of these) to give homeowners what they’re looking for. They are the best of the two worlds quitting the coziness of home life with bustling major city life.


The aptly named Silver Top House in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania includes a metal-clad box climbing from a brick foundation on a corner lot. The job is actually quite a few volumes, each clad using a different material, culminating in a roof deck. This distance plus a little backyard full of grass give the owners a few precious outdoor area in the city. This is one of the most crucial factors for urban dwellers.


This corner residence can be in Pittsburgh, but made by a different architect, is long and low. Its makeup is striking with a curving wood volume anchoring volumes in white and green. The curving wood wall is not arbitrary: it is actually an immediate renovation of this machine store that existed on the website.


The vertical — read: urban — portion of this job is that the garage painted bright green. Above are just two of the home’s three bedrooms and a patio. The upper floor also provides access to a generous roof deck atop the second-floor volume in white.

Ian Moore Architects

From Pittsburgh to Sydney, Australia, The Dodds House sits in a place with a mixture of industrial buildings, industrial structures, and even Victorian terrace homes. Architect Ian Moore excels in tidy, modern designs, and he executes one here, nearly an antithesis to the surrounding cacophony.

Ian Moore Architects

Another view of the house indicates the openings to be minimal (three windows and a single door on both corner elevations), giving privacy to the occupants. This can be accentuated by the louvers that cover the flat windows. Most of the lighting comes using a courtyard in the rear of the house. This outdoor area is accompanied by a roof deck that traces at the columns and beams that project slightly over the rooftop from the photo.

David Churchill – Architectural Photographer

This UK house indicates a exceptional circumstance. Situated behind a brick construction, the low bar in timber and metallic juts into the center of the block. A terraced side lawn is off the lower level of the house. The house is tucked into the landscape very carefully, in order not to block the neighbors out of getting some sunlight.

Nic Darling

This infill house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side demonstrates how a modern structure — terracotta “gabions,” or square tubes spaced evenly apart in a frame — give the residents some solitude and link to the traditional brick of the neighbors. Underneath the gabions is full-height glazing; these terracotta pieces also offer some shade.


This infill townhouse is situated in Seaside, a New Urbanism community on Florida’s panhandle. Form-based codes dictate a lot of the different project’s exteriors, but this modern house manages to endure among its own neo-traditional neighbors, which comprise the majority of the town. Fairly suburban homes can also be located in Seaside, but the location of the house overlooking Ruskin Place provides the wall facing the road an urban character.


This San Francisco house, featured in my ideabook on Cor-Ten Steel has since been remodeled into a stainless steel facade. It exemplifies an extreme way of creating privacy for the occupants. Perforated steel and translucent glass only hint at what’s going on behind it. Not looking like a normal house, it could be just about anything. A lawn in the back and skylights above attract daylight and outside area to the occupants.


Another home in San Francisco reveals how timber slats (another architectural component I researched in an ideabook) can help create solitude in urban contexts. The tight spacing of flat timber bits, usually facing glass walls, cuts back on the visibility of objects inside, while allowing daylight to filter out in. This house includes slats on the ground floor, propping up a band of windows over.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

This second example uses wood slats on the next floor and solid wood panels on the floor. Projecting through the slats upstairs is a square window.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

This renovated San Francisco warehouse, humorously called the Tehama Grasshopper, keeps the exterior much “as is” and carves up the concrete frame inside to bring light inside and create a courtyard. A penthouse addition is visible in this photo from around Tehama Street.

Ian Moore Architects

This home in Australia includes Ian Moore’s transformation of a late 19th century supermarket. The building fronts on two streets; envisioned is the garage entry to the narrow house. The other side is the principal entry, a complete half-level over the garage. Moore painted new elements black, such as the steel infill of this window and garage. It sensitively fits with the present while extending its usage to the 21st century.

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