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:

 (via Lunchbox Architect)
Collection Terrace Renovation Full of character but dark and stuck with a long, narrow block, terrace renovations are a challenge, but the outcomes can be incredible.
Neville Street Residence by Chan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Neville Street Residence by Chan Architecture
Featured Project How to make your home feel spacious, even if it's on a tight site Just because your home is on a tight, inner-city site doesn't mean it can't feel spacious. You just need to use the right tricks!
The Courtyard House by Maryanne Taskovski Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) The Courtyard House by Maryanne Taskovski Architect
Featured Project A courtyard creates the perfect transition between old and new Getting the transition right is a challenge in any addition. Here, a courtyard creates breathing room between old and new.
Elizabeth Street House by O'Neill Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Elizabeth Street House by O'Neill Architecture
Featured Project This modern Queenslander has a surprise behind its unassuming facade Following the traditional layout at the front, this modern Queenslander defies expectations to create a vibrant modern home.
Laneway Loft by Shelley Roberts Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Laneway Loft by Shelley Roberts Architect
Featured Project Laneway Loft is the perfect self-contained guest house! Previously an overgrown garden and outbuildings, this space is now the perfect self-contained guest retreat facing a rear laneway.
The Rose House by Brcar Morony Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) The Rose House by Brcar Morony Architecture
Featured Project Creating a peaceful urban sanctuary close to a busy highway Your home is definitely your castle at this renovation which uses an elegant take on fortification to protect the home from noise.
Mischa's Place by Circle Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Mischa's Place by Circle Studio Architects
Featured Project Marrying old and new leaves this renovation full of character Old homes are full of character. By carefully marrying old and new in a renovation, you can retain some of that warmth and personality.
Alexandria House by PASSER Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Alexandria House by PASSER Architects
Featured Project Ugly ducking of the street has transformed into an elegant swan... The neighbours once dubbed this home the ugly duckling of the street, now they're green with envy at this stunning entertainer.
Brunswick Bush Shack by Sarah Kahn Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Brunswick Bush Shack by Sarah Kahn Architect
Featured Project Not your average terrace extension... This home has a surprise at the end of the typically ornate Edwardian-era hallway, and it's far from your average terrace renovation!
Peek House by Kuzman Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Peek House by Kuzman Architecture
Featured Project Peek House is a personalty-packed renovation of a Victorian-era home The history of this home as well as the personalities of its owners shine through in this clever renovation of a Victorian cottage.
Garden House by  (via Lunchbox Architect) Garden House by
Featured Project A garden pavilion is the perfect partner for this heritage home Redbrick and terracotta-tiled Californian Bungalows are beautiful homes, but they can be dark. Here's a bright solution...
Tandem House by Fiona Drago Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Tandem House by Fiona Drago Architect
Featured Project These down-sizers wanted a modern home in a walkable neighbourhood... Moving from their large family home where the kids grew up, this family opted for a modern home closer to the things they love.
Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Mid-century never goes out of style for this creative couple A mid-century-inspired home designed to navigate a long, skinny block is this creative duo's forever home...
Light House by Alexander Symes Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Light House by Alexander Symes Architect
Featured Project Thoughtful renovation brings this home into the light side... While retaining as much of the original house for cost and environmental reasons, this home is completely transformed.
Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture
Featured Project A home fit for ageing in place doesn't need to look institutional... When you think of ageing in place, you might imagine ramps, grab rails and a lot of linoleum. But it doesn't have to be that way...
Graffiti House by Durack Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Graffiti House by Durack Architects
Featured Project This old clothing warehouse is transformed into an incredible home... Turn an existing clothing warehouse into a bold new home without losing its industrial aesthetic? Let's see how it turned out...
Silvertop House by Architopia (via Lunchbox Architect) Silvertop House by Architopia
Featured Project Buy the plans for this sustainable, cost-effective four bedroom home Clad in native timber, Silvertop House is at home in the country or the 'burbs and you can purchase the plans to build it on your block!
10 December 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 10 December 2021
Article A much better alternative to your average duplex development A powerhouse team of women, the BuildHer8, took a meh townhouse development and turned it into something quite exceptional...
Gantry House by OOF! Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Gantry House by OOF! Architects
Featured Project What do you get if you cross a house and a warehouse? This house crossed with a warehouse is the perfect live/work space for a family who are always making or doing something...
Watersedge by Jamison Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Watersedge by Jamison Architects
Featured Project A clever duplex design takes advantage of the waterfront location... With the water at the back door and a lush tropical courtyard bringing in light and breezes, this duplex has the best of both worlds.
Terrace House 1 by DREAMER (via Lunchbox Architect) Terrace House 1 by DREAMER
Featured Project This terrace house renovation creates a lush outlook from every room A terrace house typically makes you think, long, narrow and dark. This terrace might be long and narrow, but it's also light and lush!
SL House by Ben Walker Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) SL House by Ben Walker Architects
Featured Project Would you like a home that feels like it's floating in the treetops? Taking advantage of a mature native landscape, this home captures all the right views so it feels like you're floating in the treetops.
Maribyrnong Mods by Michael McManus Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Maribyrnong Mods by Michael McManus Architects
Featured Project Sometimes it's the little things that can make a big difference... A focus on the small changes with the biggest impact was key to keeping the renovation of this 1980s project home budget-friendly.
East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design (via Lunchbox Architect) East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design
Featured Project There's a Lot Hiding Behind this 5-metre-wide Frontage Looks can be deceiving. Hidden behind this narrow frontage is a spacious, light-filled and fun home thanks to a recent renovation.
East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design (via Lunchbox Architect) East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design
Green House Preston by Circle Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Green House Preston by Circle Studio Architects
Featured Project A home addition inspired by the tiled facades of pubs in the area! For a client who lives alone, this renovation was about creating the perfect home for their lifestyle, not more space.
House in Newtown by Architect George (via Lunchbox Architect) House in Newtown by Architect George
House in Newtown by Architect George (via Lunchbox Architect) House in Newtown by Architect George
Featured Project This home proves there's nothing pokey about small footprint living Good design means you can live larger with less, meaning this compact home feels bright, spacious and surrounded by greenery.
Poppy's House by Northern Edge Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Poppy's House by Northern Edge Studio
Featured Project Updating a Modernist Home Without Losing Its Character Damp-ridden, cold and leaking, this 1960s home needed a revamp. Luckily, a sensitive approach retains the home's unique character.
Dover Townhouses by  (via Lunchbox Architect) Dover Townhouses by
Featured Project What If Your Young Kids Could Grow up Next Door to Their Cousins? A pigeon pair of townhouses allow two brothers and their young families to live side-by-side; the perfect place to raise their kids.
Fitzroy North Residence by buck&simple (via Lunchbox Architect) Fitzroy North Residence by buck&simple
Featured Project Modern Addition Creates a New Heart for This Weatherboard Cottage By removing poorly constructed add-ons and creating an open-plan living area as the new heart, this quaint cottage is transformed...
Laneway House by Subtract Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Laneway House by Subtract Architecture
Featured Project Face Swap! This Home Has Been Flipped to Face the Rear Laneway... A complex, compact site on a slope and facing a busy road calls for a creative solution: switching the front and back!
Preston Retreat by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Preston Retreat by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Have a Garage You Never Use? Put the Space to Better Use... A double garage has the perfect amount of space for a new multi-functional studio the owners will get far more use out of.
Offset House by Amrish Maharaj Architect & Kitty Lee Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Offset House by Amrish Maharaj Architect & Kitty Lee Architecture
Featured Project When a Series of Renovations Leave a House Feeling Confused... A house can become dysfunctional as poorly planned renovations alter the layout and strip away original details. But it can be fixed!
Modular Passive House by ARKit (via Lunchbox Architect) Modular Passive House by ARKit
Featured Project This Stunning Modular Home is Also a High-performance Passive House! Built to Passive House standards, this home has exceptional energy-efficiency performance for comfortable living year-round.
Windsor Castle by Antarctica (via Lunchbox Architect) Windsor Castle by Antarctica
Featured Project Unique Cladding Makes Living in This Home Like Living in a Greenhouse Half greenhouse, half barn; despite being in a dense inner suburb, this home means it feels like it could be in the country!
North South House by Preston Lane Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) North South House by Preston Lane Architects
Featured Project A Sustainable and Energy-efficient Home in Spite of Tricky Orientation Getting light into living areas with a south-facing backyard is tricky. Here it's handled elegantly for an efficient and bright home.
Kingsford House by GSBN Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Kingsford House by GSBN Studio
Featured Project Extending the Original Roofline Creates Stunning Cathedral Ceilings Wanting a place to entertain friends and family, this new addition creates a grand living area overlooking the garden
Castray Apartment by Field Labs (via Lunchbox Architect) Castray Apartment by Field Labs
Featured Project Ply and Steel Joinery Items Turn This Heritage Warehouse into a Home This heritage warehouse has been sensitively transformed into a home with the careful insertion of joinery units to divide the space.
Ripple House by FMD Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Ripple House by FMD Architects
Featured Project A Series of New Spaces Unfurl From Single-fronted Victorian Cottage Far from the classic box-like addition, a series of unique spaces unfurl from the rear of the cottage, opening up to light and garden.
Surry Hills Terrace by CO-AP (via Lunchbox Architect) Surry Hills Terrace by CO-AP
Featured Project Terrace Transformed Without Extending the Footprint of the Home A series of expert moves brings in more light, improves livability and connects this terrace to its courtyard all without extending.
GER/ by PLY Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) GER/ by PLY Architecture
Featured Project Clever Design Brings Light Into the Heart of this Bungalow Bungalows are charming homes, but they tend to be dark. This addition finds a way to bring light into the depths of this bungalow.
Longueville House by Vanessa Wegner Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Longueville House by Vanessa Wegner Architect
Featured Project A Modern Take on the Verandah Creates a Connection to the Garden The front verandah of this Californian Bungalow is reinterpreted at the rear of the home to create a shady outdoor living space.
Pop Up House by Fabric Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Pop Up House by Fabric Architecture
Featured Project 1970s-era Red Brick Home Completely Transformed by Modern Renovation Not that you'd know it now, but this sleek, modern-Japanese-inspired home was once a tired '70s brick pad and what a transformation!
Flinders Addition by Michael McManus Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Flinders Addition by Michael McManus Architects
Featured Project Charred Timber Creates a New BAL-12.5 Wing for This Country Home To create space for the kids as they grow, this new bedroom wing sits beautifully in the landscape and meets BAL requirements.
9 July 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 9 July 2021
Article Why Working With an Architect Isn't the Ordeal Some Make It Out to Be Wesley Spencer from RARA Architecture was shocked at a recent auction. Find out why...
9 July 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 9 July 2021
Brighton East House by Ansari Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Brighton East House by Ansari Architects
Featured Project A Quirky Fireplace Becomes the Focal Point of This Modern Renovation The owners would have ripped this out-of-place fireplace out if they'd had their way, but it's become the centrepiece of this reno...
Little Maggie by ROAM Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Little Maggie by ROAM Architects
Featured Project Little Maggie: The Perfect Sunny Addition to this Weatherboard Cottage Creating a light-filled addition where the garden and outdoor spaces feel like an extension of the living areas for year-round use.
Stepping House by Rob Henry Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Stepping House by Rob Henry Architects
Featured Project A Mid Century-inspired Home Designed to Work Well With the Landscape On a tricky, but naturally beautiful battle-axe site, this home celebrates its assets and minimises its drawbacks.