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.
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.
Fishley by Bryant Alsop Featured Project
On a Block Just 5 Metres Wide, Space and Light Are the Main Challenges...
Bringing a sense of space and plenty of natural light to a narrow block is tough, but clever design and engineering make it possible.
Samurai Duplex by SG2 Design Featured Project
This Duplex is Inspired By a Samurai and Japanese Architecture
A samurai's armour inspires the form and materials of this unique townhouse development, bringing a bit of Japan to the suburbs.
Waterloo Terrace by David Mitchell Architects Featured Project
The Renovation of This Terrace Reuses Existing Materials in New Ways
Materials are reused in new and unusual ways in this renovation, instilling the home with unique personality - even the new parts!
HOH/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
From Faux Colonial to Minimal and Modern: Updated for Modern Living
A new opening with integrated seating transforms this home from dated colonial-style, to modern, minimal and cool. What a difference!
Flutter House by Stukel Architecture Featured Project
Roofline of New Addition Extends Off Original Like a Fluttering Flag
A double-storey addition sensitively extends the original home, unfurling from the original roofline to create a light-filled home.
Brodecky House by Atlas Architects Featured Project
Downsizer Creates New Home in the Backyard of Her Corner Block
Having lived in the area for 45 years, this downsizer was reluctant to leave. Instead, she built the perfect home in her backyard!
Box Hill North Townhouse by Inbetween Architecture Featured Project
Are New Townhouses Ruining Your Neighbourhood? Here's One Solution...
These townhouses challenge the norm and prove you can develop suburban sites without ignoring the character of the neighbourhood.
Jacaranda House by SP Studio Featured Project
Architect Reinterprets Queenslander for a Bright and Breezy Addition
Queenslander-style homes capture breezes and create shaded, naturally cool living spaces. This addition takes it to the next level.
Peekaboo House by Featured Project
Peekaboo! This Addition Pops Over the Roof of The Original Home
To grab light without taking over the backyard, this addition pops its head over the original home, saying peekaboo to the street!
Hawthorn Villa by McManus Lew Architects Featured Project
A Dated and Inward-looking Unit Transformed Into Modern Family Home
Instead of demolishing this unit, the architects reimagined it, transforming it into a modern and light-filled 3-bedroom home.
Folding Floor House by Featured Project
Neighbourhood Inspiration Helps This New Kid on the Block Fit In
Inspired by a nearby converted factory, this home brings its own spin to the saw-tooth roofline and the inspiration doesn't stop there.
Muriel by Amrish Maharaj Architect Featured Project
Creating Space for a Growing Family on Narrow, 3-metre Wide Site
An efficiently-planned rear addition to this narrow house creates space and light to grow a family without losing the home's charm.
CCO/ by PLY Architecture Featured Project
Home Renovation in a Coastal Suburb Inspired by Interior of a Ship
With exposed structure and a galley-style kitchen, this renovation takes its cues from the economical and practical fit-out of a ship.