Tiny home builds towering case for creativity during the housing crisis

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

A shipping container home nestled in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD is storing up interest as one of Australia’s most space-savvy properties.

Sitting on a block just a third of the size of a tennis court, the four-story home crams in three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies, and even off-street parking as part of its innovative design.

And now the property will hit the market for the first time since its construction, where it’s set to make a towering impression despite its tiny 90 square meter block.

Made primarily out of eight shipping containers, the ten-year-old property takes its inspiration from Japanese microhomes known as “jutaku”.

Japanese cities are some of the most densely populated places on earth, with the popular architecture style allowing property owners to get the most from every inch of their small blocks of land through ingenious design and construction methods.

Huge advantages to a tiny home

  • Low build costs
  • Faster construction times
  • Greater space utilisation
  • Expanding industry and more choice
  • Less environmental impact
  • Better energy efficiency
  • Possible relocation

Its ingenious construction style and space-cutting floor plan could even provide a solution to Australia’s ongoing housing crisis, where a lack of land and property means CBD home’s and especially vacant lots, are extremely hard to come by.

Owner Robert van Gorp says creativity is key when it comes to unlocking value in today’s troubled housing market.

“In this day and age, you need to be creative with the cost of land, so you definitely need to work with what you have,” he said.

“I’ve always been interested in smaller blocks and Japanese micro homes and that sort of thing.”

“It’s not really seen a lot of here in Australia, building with really small lots.”

Robert designed and built the tightly squeezed property with the help of architect Damien Chwalisz.

Together, they transformed the home’s 90 sq meter floor plan into a total 208 sq m total footprint, even cantilevering the ensuite bathroom over the side of the property to find the additional space.

Ray White Adelaide City’s Andrew Downing was part of the lot’s acquisition prior to the property’s construction and says he is in awe with what the empty street space had become.

“When we’ve seen it afterwards, it’s just blown us away,” he said.

“In 20 years of selling hundreds of properties, nothing has even come close to this.”

Mr Downing says those looking to build their own CBD CBD tiny home must keep their eyes peeled for opportunities and their imagination ready to run wild.

“Blocks of land (within a city) just do not come up, so you have to be inventive (when they do).”

“You need a good architect, and to just go with your dream,” he said.

The Hamilton Place home is set to go to auction next month with an anticipated sale value of around $ 1.4 million.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.