Urban homes come with a lot of constraints. Tight sites, neighboring houses, heritage controls and planning regulations affect how urban homes are designed. Obviously constraints breed innovation because architecturally designed urban homes are some of the most innovative and interesting houses around.
At Lunchbox Architect we pride ourselves on sourcing the best examples of small urban homes. We argue that homes don't have to be huge to great. In fact, small urban homes are easier to maintain, cheaper to run and, when designed right, a joy to live in.
Block out the hustle and bustle by concentrating on these top-quality urban homes we've featured on Lunchbox Architect:
Full of character but dark and stuck with a long, narrow block, terrace renovations are a challenge, but the outcomes can be incredible.
Open House by MODO Architecture Featured Project
You've Heard of a Home Addition, But What About a Subtraction?
Would you be game to renovate and reduce the size of your home? This design proves it's not always more space you need, after all.
MLY/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
Addition Compressed Into a Tight Backyard Proves What's Possible
This space-defying addition proves just because you don't have a lot of space to extend doesn't mean you can't make a big impact.
Fundamental House by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design Featured Project
A Granny Flat Doesn't Need to Be a Caravan-Sized Blob in the Backyard
This granny (and gramps) flat is the perfect place for a retired couple to call home: close to family, yet private and comfortable.
Sustainable House Marrickville by Day Bukh Architects Featured Project
An Inner City Sustainable Addition Opens Up to the Garden
Using passive design techniques, this new living space embraces the outdoors and will be comfortable year-round without relying on AC.
Sandringham Residence by Minett Studio Architecture & Design Featured Project
Architect Transforms a '90s Apricot Brick House Into a Modern Home
With dated bricks and dutch-gabled eaves, this home was definitely a child of the '90s, but now it's been given a contemporary twist.
Yarraville Residence by Featured Project
Naturally Beautiful Materials Create a Stylish Scandi-inspired Home
Scandinavian design is clean and minimal, but the use of natural timbers and stone avoid it becoming sterile. This home nails the look.
Balaclava Remodel by Featured Project
When You've Got Limited Space, It's Important to Make It Work Hard...
Making a compact space work means making it work hard. But how, exactly, do you achieve that? This remodel shows you how...
Cabinet of Curiosities House by Perversi-Brooks Architects Featured Project
A Cabinet of Curiosities Reflects This Homeowner's Personality
For an artist who collects all things astonishing and strange, a renovation helps to show off her unique style and flair.
Coburg House by Lisa Breeze Architect Featured Project
Textural Timber Addition Perfect for a Californian Bungalow Renovation
You might be surprised how little extra space you need if you take the time to get the floor plan right...
Pine House by Bryant Alsop Featured Project
Rather Than Removing an Existing Addition, They Reimagined It Instead
By reimagining the way this existing addition functioned they were able to transform this home, adding only 15 square metres in total.
Galv Mountain House by OOF! Architects Featured Project
An Addition Pops Out of the Roof to Secure the Future of This Home
The clever addition has been sliced and diced to deal with all the constraints of the site, but it guarantees light, space and views.
Sustainable House Annandale by Day Bukh Architects Featured Project
Get the Basics Right to Make Your Home As Sustainable As Possible
If you focus on the basics first in sustainable house design, everything else becomes a bonus and your reduce greenwashing overwhelm.
Alexandria House 5 by Pivot Featured Project
Terrace House Totally Reimagined, but Traces of Its Past Remain
A total rebuild of this terrace house was required, but glimpses of its history are exposed throughout the house.
Victoria Gardens House by Lucy Clemenger Architects Featured Project
Modern Two-storey Addition Embraces the Park to the Rear of This Home
Making the most of the site's assets, this new addition overlooks the lush park behind the home to stunning effect.
Fitzroy Lane House by Kennedy Nolan Architects Featured Project
You Won't Believe the Home They Created in This Narrow Laneway
It's difficult to imagine how this tight block in a laneway could become a functional and spacious home and office, but they did it!
Fitzroy North House by MMAD Architecture Featured Project
You'd Never Guess What's Behind This Facade (But That's the Point)
Ultimately council agreed to let them make some changes behind this heritage facade, convinced no one on the street would be the wiser.
Aquas Perma Solar Firma House by CplusC Architectural Workshop Featured Project
Urban Farming is Just the Beginning at the Sustainable Inner-city Home
Imagine if all our inner-city homes were eco-friendly urban farms: what a difference we could make! Here's what that might look like...
Light House by LAYAN Architects + Designers Featured Project
What Would the Director of a Lighting Company's Home Look Like?
Sadly lighting is an afterthought in many homes, but not here: a special lighting system demonstrates the potential of lighting design.
60s Revamp by Utz-Sanby Architects Featured Project
A 60s House Renovation Draws Inspiration From the Original Home
This 1960s home originally designed by Peter Johnson is updated to take advantage of its location without losing what makes it special.
Paddington House by Porebski Architects Featured Project
Budget-saving Becomes a Blessing at a Paddington Terrace Renovation
Like a tiny, irritating grain of sand creating a lustrous pearl, sometimes a projects' constraints lead to the most charming solutions.
King George by Robeson Architects Featured Project
The Challenges (and Rewards) of Renovating a Heritage House
Renovating a heritage house the right way means you can enjoy the benefits of a modern home while respecting the house's history.
Camperdown Warehouse by Archer Office Featured Project
From Rolls Royce Factory to the Rolls Royce of Warehouse Conversions
If you've ever harboured an urge to live in a trendy inner-city warehouse conversion, be prepared to have some feelings about this...
Yarraville Light House by ROAM Architects Featured Project
Narrow Block? This Home Design Offers a Clever Solution...
How do you get sun, light and a sense of space when your block is only 6 metres wide? This home has some solutions for narrow blocks.
Clifton Hill Terraces by Field Office Architecture Featured Project
Eco-townhouses Are Effectively Off-grid in the Middle of the City
When you think of an off-grid house you typically imagine a remote cabin in the bush, but these eco-townhouses tell a different story.
Elphin House by Julie Firkin Architects Featured Project
Huge Door and Custom Screen Help This Living Area Embrace the Garden
Embracing the garden with a huge double-height space, 7 metre-wide door and patterned screen which fills the home with dappled shade.
Lucky House by Kuzman Architecture Featured Project
Third Time Lucky? It Might Have Taken Three Goes But It Was Worth It!
Three distinct options and three years later they settled on a design, but when you're building forever, take the time to get it right!
Preston I by Irons McDuff Architecture Featured Project
Peeling Back the Old Layers Reveals a New Story for This Home
Revealing the layers beneath this dilapidated home helps to blend old and new, weaving a rich story from the home's existing fabric.
Rose House 2 by Baracco and Wright Architects Featured Project
It Might Look Like a Single Home, But Looks Can Be Deceiving
A home for a couple and a separate home for their adult children. Plus it's on a very public, very tricky triangular site!
His & Her House by FMD Architects Featured Project
They Both Had a Home Designed by the Same Architect: Perfect Match?
When a couple who both have homes designed by the same architect get married, their new home together is bound to be adventurous!
Glebe Red by Benn & Penna Architects Featured Project
New Additions Transform This Terrace Into a Multi-generational Home
New living areas and a backyard studio centred around a landscaped courtyard make this home perfect for current and future generations.
Cloud House by Akin Atelier Featured Project
Designed Around a Central Courtyard, This Home Maximises Light
With numerous facets to bounce light around the home, Cloud House feels like living in a cloud surrounded by beautiful, diffused light.
Bowden Bajko House by Davis + Davis Architects Featured Project
A Dramatic Brick Colonnade Links and Defines New Spaces in This Reno
These owners didn't want a 'generic open-plan box'. Instead, a series of interconnected rooms are linked by a dramatic brick colonnade.
Bowden Bajko House by Davis + Davis Architects
Escher House by MacCormick & Associates Architects Featured Project
An Escher-inspired Stair Makes Living in 4 Storey Terrace More Fun
When you have to hike up and down stairs all day, they may as well be fun! A new stair brings light and novelty to this home.
Bill and Kate's House by Potter&Wilson Featured Project
Impressive Two-storey Addition Peeks Over the Top of This Bondi Home
A new two-storey addition transforms Bill and Kate's home, connecting it to the backyard and creates dramatic interior spaces.
Balmain Rock House by Benn & Penna Architects Featured Project
A Dramatic Concrete and Brick Addition to an Old Sandstone Cottage
Emulating the solidity of the original 150-year-old cottage, this concrete and brick addition is sure to be around in another 150 years!
Bronte House by Archer Office Featured Project
Blurring Boundaries Creates Outdoor Rooms and Indoor Gardens
In spite of a narrow block, this home expands its interior to the edge of the site, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors.
Machiya House by Downie North Architects Featured Project
Clever Renovation to a Small, Corner Site in a Heritage Area
This home defies its tight site by using screening and careful window placement to grab light and views without exposing itself.
Triangle House by Robeson Architects
Triangle House by Robeson Architects Featured Project
Triangle House Proves Odd-shaped Blocks Deserve Love, Too
Trying to fit a home on a tight, triangular block with a busy street on one side and an easement on the other: crazy or brilliant?
(Gr)ancillary Dwelling by Crump Architects Featured Project
(Gr)ancillary Dwelling is Far From Your Average Granny Flat...
An incredible home for a much-loved grandmother allows her to live independently (but close by). It's better than a retirement village!
Mid-century Modern House by Elaine Richardson Architect Featured Project
This Extension Is Far From Typical: For One, It's at the Front!
An addition to the front is just one of the atypical parts of this project full of surprises and innovative solutions.
Paddington Two Rooms by Graham Anderson Architects
Paddington Two Rooms by Graham Anderson Architects Featured Project
Two Rooms, One Indoor and the Other Outdoor, But What a Difference!
A simple, two-room addition radically transforms the feeling and liveability of this previously dark, introverted home.
Great George by DAH Architecture Featured Project
A Hotchpotch of Dilapidated Additions Cry Out for Some Attention
This family extended their Queenslander over the years, but something had to be done to pull it all together and make it liveable again.
River Room/Pavilion for S&P House by Shane Thompson Architects Featured Project
A Small Living Pavilion Brings Owners Closer to the River
A pavilion surrounded by garden brings living closer to the river, creating an additional living space with incredible views.
House 184 by Blank Canvas Architects Featured Project
How to Make a Compact Workers Cottage on a Tight Block Feel Spacious?
When you've got a tight block, you need to use every square centimetre. That's how you make a compact home feel spacious.
Milroy Street by Megowan Architectural Featured Project
From 'a Labyrinth of Purples and Yellows' to... This!
After removing walls and opening up both the internal space and to the outdoors, this home is virtually unrecognisable.
Mosman House by Annabelle Chapman Architect Featured Project
Rear Addition Brings Light and Outdoor Living to This Federation Home
A new two-storey addition to the rear is transformational, bringing new light and life to this old, previously neglected home.
Canterbury Studio by McGann Architects Featured Project
This Studio Shows Us What's Possible in Our Own Backyard...
With housing (un)affordability growing and our city limits bursting, this project shows us there's still space in the inner city.