The Urban Shelter project by MYCC in Madrid, Spain, takes the split-level idea and completely runs with it. The minuscule 21-sqm footprint home provides bedroom, bathroom with bath, home office, living areas, galley kitchen and under-floor storage, all separated yet visually connected through open staircases. All in a space barely wider than a king-size bed.
The home seems quite idyllic for a single city-dweller. For couples or larger family units, however, the inability to pass comfortably on the stairs may become a trifle frustrating before long. But split-level architecture can provide solutions for larger family homes too, as the TH House by ODDO architects shows, with its 4x6m footprint across five storeys in an overpopulated area of Hanoi, Vietnam. By using stairways, greenery and a glass facade, they created visual, spatial and ventilated connections between floors, for a light, sociable and workable family home.