little sister in a dress … vienna’s smallest residential building

Little Sister in a Dress is most probably the smallest private residential building in Vienna, located on a tiny garden plot in the city’s 23rd district. Building regulations stipulate a maximum footprint of 20 m2 and a maximum building height of 5.5 m. Spatial requirements however call for the maximum utilization of the given spatial envelope.

Located in a small housing settlement that stretches around a small lake in its center, this building sits near – but not directly next – to the lake, closely surrounded by other small residential buildings, making it necessary to exploit the limited view to the lake, that is partly blocked by neighboring buildings, while at the same time creating a decent sense of privacy for the residents in a spatial composition that due to its limited footprint needs fluidity, openness and closely-knit interior and exterior spaces. The design therefore negotiates the complex contextual parameters, such as the building’s orientation and position in the field, its nearby neighbors, the limited view to the beautiful lake, on the one hand and on the other hand the inhabitants’ requirements for privacy, openness towards their outdoor spaces, connectedness to the lake, and their strong desire for open and bright spaces.

Fluent spaces, strategic transparencies, surprising views, vertical spaces and voids generate spatial complexity. Extensive glazing and sliding doors connect the multi-levelled living spaces with the balcony, the terrace, the adjacent remaining garden and the nearby lake. Minimized lightweight constructions, light wells, bright surfaces and white materials prevent a sense of constriction inside the tiny building and establish a spatial and atmospheric continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The project has received the “gebaut 2017” award as one of the best buildings completed in Vienna in 2017. Find all the prize winners here.

little sister in a dress, vienna’s smallest residential building, was exhibited in the 2017 BUGAIK International Architecture Exhibition, organized by the Busan Chapter of the Architectural Institute of Korea and is published in the accompanying catalog.

Little Sister in a Dress was part of the open house wien event 2019. Every year, a small number of hand-picked buildings in and around Vienna are open to the public for one weekend and clients and architects are available for conversations and information.

little sister in a dress – vienna’s smallest residential building.
project team: HOPPE architects – Robert Neumayr with Alex Neversal and Robert Löffler.
consultants: kppk Vienna.
photographs: hervé massard and unsquare architects (robert r. neumayr).