The Yin & Yang of living and working in this tiny family home

Yin & Yang House - Penda, Austria

The ‘Yin & Yang House’, designed by the Austrian-based architecture studio Penda, challenges the perception of modernism as solely urban. This project, located on a small plot near the city of Kassel in the German countryside, exemplifies the future trend towards revitalizing rural areas, offering self-sufficient, sustainable, and compact housing.

Spanning 75 sqm (807 sqft), this house is a marvel of green design, inspired by a small family’s desire for independence and off-grid living. The two-story wooden-clad dwelling replaces traditional lawn space with a rooftop garden, symbolizing balance through the Yin & Yang concept. The roof is divided into two parts, curving like valleys and meeting in the middle, creating an innovative and visually appealing design. The ascending garden space accommodates over a hundred individual planting areas for vegetables, herbs, and fruits, adapting to the changing seasons and transforming the house’s appearance accordingly.

The warm wood paneling on the exterior extends to the interior, covering walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture, complemented by cool grey concrete on supporting walls. The ground floor features large floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining and kitchen area, maximizing natural light and creating a cozy atmosphere. This level also houses a front office, study space, children’s bedroom, master bedroom, and bathroom. An outdoor staircase leads to the rooftop garden and supports the second-story room, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. The roof’s design allows rainwater to channel to the ground floor, where it is stored and reused for watering the plants.

The project engages all the senses, offering visual appeal, varying scents from the garden, and natural sounds from wildlife, creating a unique living and working environment. By integrating food production into the house, it establishes a special bond with the community while promoting sustainability and a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, this project represents a harmonious blend of natural and man-made elements, offering a tiny planet of sustainable living.

Penda Studio

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