Tiny houses and huge manors: Peter Chittenden

Peter ChittendenJune 24, 20130 min read

I have previously written about small apartments, but now it is tiny houses in the headlines. And who else but architect Renzo Piano, known for the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Shard in London and Aurora Place and Macquarie Apartments in Sydney, has designed a very tiny house ‘Diogene’, what Domus (the Architecture, Design, Art & Products bible) have described “a technically perfect and aesthetically attractive refuge, testing the potential of the minimalist house.”

Domus goes on to describe Diogene not as emergency accommodation, but a retreat that is able to function in various climate conditions, as a self-sufficient system. The required water is collected by the house itself, cleaned and reused and the house supplies its own power and the necessary platform is minimised.

Renzo Piano emphasises its aspect of “spiritual silence”. “Diogene provides you with what you really need and no more,” Piano states.

This tiny house is equipped with everything you need in a living room – of course there is a pull-out sofa and a folding table. Behind a partition, you’ll find a shower, toilet and a kitchen.

There is yet no indication about price or actually going into production, but it won’t be cheap; there are a lot of special systems to pay for.

But it will be a lot less than £200 million

In contrast to the tiny Piano designed house the Daily Mail in London asks if this London home might well be the most extravagant property? A local property tycoon has purchased seven Regent’s Park houses to create a £200m ‘supermansion’ as described by The Mail.

Plans to combine the seven homes into a single ‘home’ will create London’s largest residence after Buckingham Palace.

Over seven levels it will have 35 bathrooms including some spacious ‘his and hers’ bathrooms, 15 bedrooms and roof garden. With a £200million asking price, it will be one of the most expensive properties in Britain.

On the top floor the house will have a lush private roof garden despite the fact that the 472-acre Regent’s Park is a stone’s throw away, but then who wants to use a public park!

But even though the property will also feature a subterranean leisure complex with a swimming pool, jacuzzi, pool bar and cinema, most of the 355 comments posted by readers of The Mail web site appeared less than impressed.

One saying: “I’d rather have a few hundred square miles, in the Highlands of Scotland, for that amount of money.”

And you could assume with plenty of room for more than one of the Renzo Piano, ‘Diogene’ tiny homes.

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.
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