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.
Black Ribbon House by Studio 15b Featured Project
Queenslander Renovation Creates a Home to Enjoy for Years to Come
Rather than relocate, this family decided on a Queenslander renovation to create the home of their dreams in the street they love.
Waratah Secondary House by anthrosite Featured Project
A Compact, Efficient Home Barely Bigger than a Typical Backyard Shed
This studio was designed to minimise costs by maximising efficiency, creating a flexible space that was largely prefabricated off-site.
Gold Street Residence by Sarah Kahn Architect Featured Project
A Clever Addition Turns a Potentially Problematic Site Into Gold
Others overlooked this heritage-listed home because of its exposure on three sides, but a playful addition turns it into an asset.
Wild House by Jon Lowe Architect Featured Project
Inner-city Maisonette Transformed Thanks to New Living Space
A new 60 square metre addition creates a bright and modern living space for this inner-city home.
Step Down House by Bijl Architecture Featured Project
Step Down Into This New Airy Pavilion Which Spills Into the Backyard
Perfect for entertaining, this new living pavilion at the back of a 1910s home is light, airy and open to the backyard.
NTH/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
Addition Expands This Home in Search of Light and Access to the Yard
An addition which doesn't overshadow the original heritage house, but improves the home's spaciousness, access to light and the yard.
Deco House by Mihaly Slocombe Featured Project
Love Art Deco? Here's a Take on It That's Perfect for Modern Living
If you love the curved lines and detailing of the Art Deco period, but crave open spaces and natural light, this home is for you...
Milkman's Cottage by Preston Lane Architects Featured Project
Tiny Heritage Cottage Transformed into Surprisingly Spacious Home
Once home to the local milkman, this quaint cottage has been transformed into a light and bright home with a surprising sense of space.
Scott by Foomann Architects Featured Project
'Box in the Back' Creates an Elegant and Cost-effective Home Addition
A simple, rectangular, double-storey addition was a cost-effective way to gain the space this family needed. Plus some indulgences...
18 January 2021 Article
How to put an offer on a property to suit different selling methods
Purchasing a property can be a daunting undertaking. But putting in an offer doesn't need to be. Here's how to put in an offer once you've found the home you want...
18 January 2021
Empress House by YSC Architects Featured Project
Like a Jewellery Box, This Home Is Perfect for Your Precious Family
This home, inspired by a jewellery box, is perfect for your most treasured people and possessions: beautiful, safe and ordered.
SKY/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
A Modern Home Filled with Character, Sun, Air and Sky Views
Modern homes can be criticised for lacking character, but modern doesn't need to equal sterile.
27 November 2020 Article
Introducing Architopia: beautiful house designs you can purchase for a simple flat fee
Not everyone needs a completely custom-designed home. Now you can access high-quality architectural house designs for a flat fee.
Shadow Roll House by Megowan Architectural Featured Project
An Incredible Addition Tucked Behind a Heritage Protected Cottage
From the street, all you can see is a sliver of the stunning new addition, designed to protect the heritage value of the original home.
Paddo Terrace by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design Featured Project
Light and Bright Addition Turns This Tiny Terrace Into Spacious Home
At 52 square metres, this two-storey terrace was about the same size as a two-bedroom apartment, now there's space to entertain guests.
Mass and Void by Sparks Architects Featured Project
This Home Stands Out in Its Housing Estate for All the Right Reasons
Even a block in a typical housing estate can benefit from an architect's touch, creating a home that's a joy to live in year-round...
Knocklofty by Preston Lane Architects Featured Project
Voids, Volume and Views. This Warehouse-inspired Home Has It All…
Transforming a 1980s house into a warehouse loft-inspired home involved removing the roof but the results are more than worth it!
Paperback House by Ben Callery Architects Featured Project
Home for Two Publishers and Family Makes a Hero Out of the Bookshelf
Every good architectural story needs a hero. In this renovation, it's a striking bookshelf which screens a work-from-home space...
Mavis House by Featured Project
South Facing Backyard? You Can Still Enjoy Passive Solar Design...
This addition to a post-war brick home has a trick up its sleeve to guarantee access to sunlight despite the backyard facing south.
Glebe House by Supercontext Featured Project
Addition on a Narrow Four Metre-wide Site Defies Its Constraints
Defying its narrow site, challenging east-west orientation and heritage restrictions, this skinny home manages to feel spacious.
Balgowlah Residence by Featured Project
Transforming a Californian Bungalow Into the Perfect Family Home
A west-facing backyard and poorly-designed additions left this family with dark mornings and overheated afternoons, but no longer...
Brick Residence by Preston Lane Architects Featured Project
Renovating a House That Has Been in the Family for Almost 70 Years…
Imagine having a classic modernist house in the family for three generations? How would you sensitively renovate it?
Back Box House by OOF! Architects Featured Project
A Staged Reno Over 10 Years Helps This Home Change With Its Family
Staging the renovation of this home into two phases made budgetary sense and allows the home to adapt to the family's changing needs.
2 October 2020 Article
2 scenarios where a bridging loan will help you in your home loan journey
Buying a new home and selling your current property can be tricky, that's where a bridging loan might be able to help...
Split House by FMD Architects Featured Project
Original Home Inspires a Respectful But Radically Different Addition
The roof and layout of the original home serve as the inspiration for a new addition, but a modern twist creates perfect family home.
North Bondi House by Josephine Hurley Architecture Featured Project
Location, Location, Location. And, Now, the Other Three Ls...
This 1980s-era home already had a stellar location. Thanks to an internal reno, it has everything else you'd want in a home, too...
Paddington House by Supercontext Featured Project
Traces of the Original Are Left to Tell the Story of Paddington Reno
The substantial renovation of this terrace transforms the home, but reminders of the past are woven in to create a rich tapestry.
Feng Shui House by Steffen Welsch Architects Featured Project
Feng Shui Helps This Reno Achieve Harmony and Happiness
In many ways, Feng Shui aligns with the principles of good design. Here, Feng Shui achieves a light, harmonious and delightful home.
Stafford House by TONIC Design Featured Project
High Ceilings, Large Windows Make This Home Look and Feel Larger
It's amazing how high ceilings can offer your home an extra sense of space, just take a look at this light and bright example...
Oye Mi Canto House by CplusC Architectural Workshop Featured Project
The Secret to Ensuring Light and Breezes for this Long Narrow Home...
Three distinct pavilions create the breathing room needed for maximum light and breezes on this narrow inner-city block.
Northcote Residence by Melanie Beynon AD Featured Project
A Timber-rich Addition Creates a Warm, Character-filled Home
A beautiful new living space wrapping around a courtyard deck plus main bedroom suite creates the perfect home for a family of six.
Driftwood by Featured Project
A Beach House That Feels Private Without Missing the Views
A beach house doesn't need to feel like a glass box on stilts, this home feels intimate while still celebrating the views.
Pool House by Zen Architects Featured Project
Multi-generational Family Pool Their Resources to Create Perfect Home
Pooling for a pool: would you join forces with your parents to create the ultimate inner-city pad complete with a rooftop pool?
Deepwater House by Dieppe Design Featured Project
Building on a BAL-FZ (Flame Zone) Site Made This Home a Challenge
With the site's Bushfire Attack Level of Flame Zone, achieving the incredible expanses of glazing took incredible attention to detail.
The Good Life House by MRTN Architects Featured Project
A Home Designed for a Family to Come Together or Find their Own space
Bringing together all the things they loved from previous houses, their new home represents the good life for this family of five.
Maison de Famille by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design Featured Project
Why Move When Renovating Means You Can Achieve Everything You Want?
The only way was up at this home, but renovating meant this family were able to achieve everything they wanted without having to move.
Puzzle Box by Amrish Maharaj Architect Featured Project
This Home Addition Was More Like Solving a Complex 3D Puzzle
With the option of renovating or selling, this family chose to renovate to stay in the area they, but that was easier said than done!
Cooks River House by studioplusthree Featured Project
It's Hard to Believe This Home is Tucked in Sydney's Inner-west.
With its lush, wild setting, this home could be worlds away from the city and that's exactly what the owners wanted to achieve.
23 July 2020 Article
15 Architects Share Their Favourite Three Projects
Architects show us some of their proudest moments and explain what they love so much about what they do.
Garnet Street by Kirsten Johnstone Architecture Featured Project
New Layout of this Inter-war Home Makes it Perfect for Modern Living
By rethinking the layout of this home, a more efficient plan that's perfect for modern living was found within the existing footprint.
Oxford Cottage by Bones Studio Featured Project
Queenslander Renovation Transforms One-bedroom into Family Home
Stunning Queenslander renovation retains the character of the original home while creating a modern addition for a growing family.
Masuto by Jamison Architects Featured Project
Rethinking the Typical Duplex Development Offers Numerous Advantages
'It's the way things have always been done' doesn't mean it's the best solution! Questioning the norm can unlock hidden gold...
House B by Whispering Smith Featured Project
Amazing What an Average Post-war Brick House Can Become...
This post-war brick house has been transformed into a stylish modern home with a thoughtful addition and creative reworking.
St Peters House II by Kreis Grennan Architecture Featured Project
A New Laneway House Celebrates This Inner Suburb's History of Bricks
Celebrating the suburb's history, this laneway house demonstrates how to create high-quality housing in the inner city with flair.
Clovelly by Modscape Featured Project
Six Prefabricated Modules Create a Forever Home With an Ocean View
Designed to make the most of the view, even from the backyard, this prefab modular home is like a viewing scope towards the ocean.
Apartment on Ballarat by Circle Studio Architects Featured Project
A Revamp Turns Tired '90s Townhouse Into Bright and Welcoming Home
It's hard to believe 1994 was nearly 30 years ago, but this home was sure showing its age. No more thanks to a fun and bright revamp.
Palm House by Kirsten Johnstone Architecture Featured Project
A Series of Courtyards Turn This Dark Victorian Into a Lush Oasis
Internal courtyards are the answer to finding natural daylight and preventing overlooking issues in this inner-city renovation.
ALB/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
Beach House Maximises the Views Despite a Narrow Frontage
Some clever solutions mean even a home on a long, narrow block can capture scenic, wraparound views of the ocean.