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:

Elm Street House by Gardiner Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Elm Street House by Gardiner Architects
Featured Project Renovating a House to Better Suit Your Lifestyle The small, pokey and often dark spaces of many older homes don’t provide the space young families need, but you can change that...
Origami Fold House by SG2 Design (via Lunchbox Architect) Origami Fold House by SG2 Design
Featured Project Folding the Roofline of an Addition Creates an Unexpected Delight The carefully crafted folds of the ancient art of origami create something new and unexpected. It's a similar story with this reno...
2 May 2019 (via Lunchbox Architect) 2 May 2019
Article 5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home When it comes to selling, you want to maximise the value of your home. Here are 5 tips to help you nail it.
Open up and let me in by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Open up and let me in by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture
Featured Project Open Up and Let Me In: a Simple, But Inspired Transformation A new covered deck is the showpiece of this home's transformation, drawing its owners out to enjoy the backyard.
Seven Seat House by Kitty Lee Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Seven Seat House by Kitty Lee Architecture
Featured Project Seven Seats Around an Island Bench is Perfect for a Dinner Party What this home lacks in a dining room is made up for with a fun, communal island bench for seven: a perfect way to host a dinner party.
Pleated House by Megowan Architectural (via Lunchbox Architect) Pleated House by Megowan Architectural
Featured Project You Can't Design a Flat, Boring Roof When Your Client's a Roof Plumber With a folded roof form and charred timber cladding, Pleated House has plenty of flair for its design-conscious owners.
Anti-terrace by Nikhila Madabhushi Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Anti-terrace by Nikhila Madabhushi Architecture
Featured Project Anti-terrace Gives a Cheeky Middle Finger to Its Neighbours If the stress of renovating isn't enough for you, here's a way to step it up a gear: base your deadline around the arrival of a baby!
Lean-2 by Ben Callery Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Lean-2 by Ben Callery Architects
Featured Project Lean-2 Flips the Typical Lean-to on Its Head to Create a Sunny Home Lean-tos aren't renowned for their good design, but rethinking the classic design led to a functional and flexible home for this family.
Allan Street House by Gardiner Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Allan Street House by Gardiner Architects
Featured Project A Compact Addition Creates a Comfortable and Sustainable Home Living in the inner-city means trading space for convenience. This project shows you, that trade-off isn't so bad.
Brunswick House by Winwood Mckenzie Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Brunswick House by Winwood Mckenzie Architecture
Featured Project House With Two Distinct Personalities: Winter Cosy to Summer Breezy Can a house be both a cosy refuge and open to the outdoors to create a breezy outdoor room? In this case, it can!
Parmelia Street House by Philip Stejskal Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Parmelia Street House by Philip Stejskal Architects
Featured Project New Home Built Around a Century Old Cottage With Sentimental Value How do you extend an old cottage which used to belong to the client's mother? By reinterpreting the original cottage, that's how...
Side Yard House by Andrew Child Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Side Yard House by Andrew Child Architecture
Featured Project The Clever Reason to Skip a Backyard in Favour of a Side Yard Instead If your backyard doesn't face north, create a long side yard instead so you can enjoy the benefits of natural light and passive design.
Arrow House by Mark Lam Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Arrow House by Mark Lam Architect
Featured Project A Striking Angular Addition Helps to Draw Fresh Air Through this Home A surprising, angular addition pops out of the rear of this home, but it does more than just look dramatic...
South Melbourne Beach House by Topology Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) South Melbourne Beach House by Topology Studio
Featured Project A Light-filled Beach House Just Two Kilometres from the City? With an incredible site just one street from the beach and close to the city, these architects built their ideal family home.
Cecil Street House by Chan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Cecil Street House by Chan Architecture
Featured Project Laser Cut Screen Shields Addition and References Heritage Building The lace-like screen protecting the rear of this home is a way to tie old and new together while also dealing with practicalities.
BENT Annexe by Bent Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) BENT Annexe by Bent Architecture
Featured Project A Light-filled Annexe-like Addition Opens This Home Up to the Garden Like an annexe attached to the side of this solid home, BENT Annexe is an open-plan living area that feels more like a garden room.
Nat's House by Studio Prineas (via Lunchbox Architect) Nat's House by Studio Prineas
Featured Project New Addition Steps Down Half a Level to Reunite House and Garden Previously cut off from the backyard by a hefty level change, this new addition flows effortlessly between inside and out.
House for Three Generations by po-co Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) House for Three Generations by po-co Architecture
Featured Project How to Design a House for Three Generations Under the One Roof Increasingly, multi-generational families are choosing to live together. In this case, how do we design homes which cater for everyone?
7 December 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 7 December 2018
Article Narrow Wins: 5 Ways to Deal with a Narrow Block Dealing with a narrow block can be a challenge. But, as with any challenge, creative thinking can produce incredible results.
Altona Lightbox by OMG Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Altona Lightbox by OMG Architects
Featured Project Dark and Pensive on the Outside, but It's a Different Story Inside As soon as you enter the front door of this 1950s home, you are drawn to the light and openness of the new, rear addition.
Clifton Hill House by Field Office Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Clifton Hill House by Field Office Architecture
Featured Project Terrace Addition Creates a Light-filled Home and Studio for an Artist By designing a new, open-plan addition to this heritage home, the owner has a light-filled space to inspire his creativity.
Kew Villa by McManus Lew Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Kew Villa by McManus Lew Architects
Featured Project A 1960s Unit Is Transformed Into a Modern Family Home Buying an extra slice of land from the owners' corporation enabled this 1960s one-bedroom unit to become a modern three-bedroom home.
Suntrap House by Anderson Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Suntrap House by Anderson Architecture
Featured Project A Clever Addition Traps the Sun to Keep This Home Comfortable This family were miserable in their south-facing living areas, but thanks to a clever addition, their home is now light and bright.
Split End House by Mártires Doyle Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Split End House by Mártires Doyle Architects
Featured Project Split End House's Cranking and Splitting Roof Lets Light In A south-facing backyard can feel like a curse, but an unconventional roofline could come to the rescue to let direct natural light in.
Falconer Street Residence by Sonelo Design Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Falconer Street Residence by Sonelo Design Studio
Featured Project A Minimal Renovation Maximises the Connection to the Outdoors A strong visual and physical connection to the garden is achieved without significantly altering this inner-city terrace.
Ascot Vale Micro Addition by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Ascot Vale Micro Addition by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Micro Addition Tucks Much-needed Second Bathroom into Narrow Setback It's not the size of an addition that counts, it's the functionality it adds to your home. This micro addition achieves hefty results.
23 November 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 23 November 2018
Article Democracy Sausage Day: Who Gets Your Vote? For Victorians, Democracy Sausage Day is just around the corner. But this is not just an article for Victorians...
The Shadow House by Nic Owen Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) The Shadow House by Nic Owen Architects
Featured Project A 'Shadow' of This Heritage Home Shows Us How You Extend Respectfully Extending heritage homes respectfully is a challenge. Allowing this addition to recede into the shadows was the sensitive approach.
16 November 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 16 November 2018
Article What Role Can Our Homes Play in Improving Our Mental Health? We might turn to psychologists or drugs to improve our mental health, but are we missing a solution that's closer to home?
Gresham Street House by Jackson Teece (via Lunchbox Architect) Gresham Street House by Jackson Teece
Featured Project An Eco-friendly Addition Reinterprets a Classic Queenslander New additions help this home to perform more like a traditional Queenslander, helping it fit perfectly with its site and climate.
Blinco Street House by Philip Stejskal Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Blinco Street House by Philip Stejskal Architects
Featured Project What Role Do Our Homes Play in Helping Us Recover and Reset? Settling into regular life takes some adjustment for a fly-in-fly-out worker who spends a month away from home. This new home helps.
Binary House by Christopher Polly Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Binary House by Christopher Polly Architects
Featured Project Contrasting Addition Complements a Sixties Yellow Brick Home The good qualities of both old and new are highlighted by creating an addition which is the binary opposite of the original.
Tetris Extension by Crosshatch (via Lunchbox Architect) Tetris Extension by Crosshatch
Featured Project This Extension Is Arranged Like a Game of Tetris to Maximise Space On a tight, south-facing site, the various spaces of this addition are expertly arranged to ensure maximum benefit with minimal fuss.
Brick Aperture House by Kreis Grennan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Brick Aperture House by Kreis Grennan Architecture
Featured Project A New Addition Frames a Leafy Outlook in the Backyard of This Home The aperture-like addition to this heritage home carefully frames the best views and lets light into the new living spaces.
2 November 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 2 November 2018
Article We Need to Talk About the Suburbs... We can build better houses in the suburbs, the houses we featured this week show us how.
House A by Walter&Walter (via Lunchbox Architect) House A by Walter&Walter
Featured Project This Suburban Home Finds a Unique Way to Connect with the Landscape From the street, this looks like a house with no windows, but once inside you realise it's the exact opposite...
Coburg North House by Baker Drofenik Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Coburg North House by Baker Drofenik Architects
Featured Project The Outlook of this 1940s Home Just Got a Lot Brighter... A new addition prioritises light and a connection to the garden, transforming this 1940s house into an uplifting and modern home.
26 October 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 26 October 2018
Article When I Looked at the Floor Plan, I Freaked Out... Once the excitement wore off, the fear started to set in. I pored over the floor plan, convinced there wasn't enough space...
Outside In House by MODO Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Outside In House by MODO Architecture
Featured Project Outside In House: This Modern Extension Doesn't Steal the Limelight This modern addition is more like a supporting actor, allowing the charm and beauty of the original home to shine through.
12 October 2018 (via Lunchbox Architect) 12 October 2018
Article How to Improve Rental Profits Having greater rental profits comes down to a very simple equation: more rent and fewer complications. Here are a few tips...
Garden Studio by MODO Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Garden Studio by MODO Architecture
Featured Project Don't Build Over Your Garden, Grow Your Garden Up Instead! Instead of sacrificing their productive garden, plants are encouraged to grow up the walls of this clever backyard studio.
Project Nymph by Zen Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Project Nymph by Zen Architects
Featured Project What If Your Home Felt More Like Living in a Garden? This home takes advantage of its location near the Botanic Gardens to create a living area which feels like an extension of the garden.
Selby Aura Family Home by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Selby Aura Family Home by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project What a Difference Fresh Colours, New Joinery and Great Lighting Makes This home had good bones, but forty years of use left it feeling tired. A clever facelift offers a fresh start for its new owners.
Micro Addition by Cathi Colla Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Micro Addition by Cathi Colla Architects
Featured Project Could a Micro Addition Be All You Need to Transform Your Home? We've heard of tiny houses and micro-apartments, but could a micro addition be the answer to your space issues? Let's see...
Urban Barnyard by Inbetween Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Urban Barnyard by Inbetween Architecture
Featured Project Urban Barnyard House Is Home to a Family and Their Chickens and Bees Hiring an architect to design your new home or renovation is a big commitment. So how do you know you're making the right choice?
Boston Villa by Nest Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Boston Villa by Nest Architects
Featured Project Abandoned for Years, This Elegant Villa Is Now a Sustainable Home This house had become a squat and burnt down during the design stage, but Dean and Lisa transformed it into a modern, sustainable home.
Two Pavilion House by  (via Lunchbox Architect) Two Pavilion House by
Featured Project Two Pavilions Prove a Creative Solution to a Challenging Site Splitting this home into two separate pavilions creates flexible spaces which also solves a number of challenges.
Courtyard House by Sarah Lake Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Courtyard House by Sarah Lake Architects
Featured Project The Conventional Form of This Addition Is Cut Back to Let the Sun In On a long, narrow site, a courtyard is cleverly cut into this addition to allow the sun to stream into new living spaces.
Courtyard Deck House by ZGA Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Courtyard Deck House by ZGA Studio
Featured Project A Courtyard Deck's the Perfect Way to Combine Old and New at This Home A decked courtyard connects this existing home and extension, providing light, breezes and an indoor-outdoor connection to old and new.
Clerestory House by Pearson Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Clerestory House by Pearson Architecture
Featured Project Ingenious Clerestory Window Lets Light In Where You'd Least Expect It Just because you have a narrow block without a north-facing backyard doesn't mean you have to sacrifice light, views and ventilation.