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The space house: Small-home design (1956)

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The space house

A new concept in small-home planning

by Joseph B Mason

This luxury home — priced under $13,000 — fills the modern family’s requirements for an integrated life

One of a group built near San Jose, California, the Space House was designed for the family who lives as a closely knit unit yet respects individual privacy.


Convinced of the importance of indoor-outdoor living, the architects created floor-to-ceiling windows that extend the walls of the house to include the two private courts and the garden terrace.

Designed for children

Other features of the one-story space home:

The architects realized that children, as well as parents, need a lot of room for their diverse hobbies and games — and a place to keep pets. This home doesn’t cramp active youngsters; it uses all inner and outer space to give them the most freedom.

In addition, children have protection from street traffic: The two courts and the terrace are enclosed by six-foot fences, and the entire lot is surrounded by a five-foot fence. With this safeguard, the space home can be built safely on any city street.

Window wall (with door at one end) in the living room gives on a fenced-in court. Sloping plank-and-beam ceiling and extensive use of glass contribute over-all feeling of space.

The bedroom designed for parents has its own entrance to the outside court, and an adjoining bathroom. In separate niche between the closet and bath, a vanity table fits compactly.

Basic rectangular plan of the house contains 1,200 square feet. But with the three exterior fenced-in courts and the oversize two-car garage, the house’s usable living area is doubled.

Beyond the glass wall of the dining room private court provides family with pleasant mealtime view. From the kitchen (above) — between family and dining rooms — snacks and dinners can be served easily.

Integration of the all-purpose family room and garden terrace is achieved by sliding glass doors. A good place for youngsters to read and play games, family room is in full sight of the control-center kitchen.

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The home’s floorplan

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