Brazilian housekeeper's tiny house wins architecture award for best design

A Brazilian housekeeper recently won a top architecture award for his house.

The influential architecture website, ArchDaily, recently recognized the home of São Paulo resident Ms. Dalva (whose full name has not been released) with its 2016 building of the year award. It was chosen from more than 3,000 nominated projects.

According to the Brazilian architectural firm that carried out the project, Terra e Tuma, Dalva had lived in the tiny house located in the outlying neighborhood of Vila Matilde for decades, but by 2011 it had some severe structural and sanitary problems. (See the slideshow above for images of the dramatic transformation.)

Dalva's son reached out to the firm about redesigning the house so that she wouldn't have to sell and move even further away from the city.

For several years the architects and a network of collaborators worked on the new design, and by early 2014, the house had deteriorated to the point that it began to collapse.

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“The new house had to be built as fast as possible, or else her expenses would completely consume all savings,” the architects said in a write up about the project.

Demolition of the existing structure took about four months, and at the same time the architects reinforced the retaining walls and the building's foundation. It took another six months to complete.

The small house is set on a 393-square-foot lot (15' 8" feet wide by 82 feet long) abutting two neighboring homes.

The entrance leads into the living room. The long, narrow kitchen doubles as a hallway to the main bedroom in the back of the house. Alongside the kitchen is a small courtyard with plants and a patio table and two chairs.

There is a second floor with a second bedroom in the back. Planted on the living room’s concrete slab ceiling is a small vegetable garden.

“A simple solution (and) a result of a long, complex gratifying process,” the architects said.

ArchDaily building of the year awards were given to 13 other homes and buildings from around the world.

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