We’re continually impressed and inspired by creative projects that have been achieved on a small budget. From fellow architects to community projects and self-builders; check out our favourite builds that haven’t cost the earth.
By the way, if you’re a self-builder take a look at our informative guide to financing your project here.
By and large, the Danes are a couple of decades ahead of us. Here they are thinking sustainably: upcycling shipping containers to save the approximate 1100 tonnes of CO2 required to build a new home. Socially it gives students a home and a hub, a place for ideas to thrive. And it’s innovative, making use of the water and creating variety within the urban landscape. [Marcus]
Using prefabricated elements, a simple layout and leaving surfaces such as the plywood walls and concrete floor exposed – this small house cost €1500/m2 and lets in plenty of natural light. [Claire]
Built to host film projections and shared meals over a two day period, the temporary structure was made on a near-zero budget using local waste materials and straw bales. There’s something lovely in its primitive simplicity; providing shelter from the wind and rain for people to come together and celebrate. Its existence and form is a result of its circumstances, which makes me a little jealous as I’d love to have been involved! [Liam]
I just discovered Studio Weave thanks to Claire and instantly fell in love with the magical story of Freya’s cabin (pictured) and Robin’s hut. I’d like to sit there with my husband and dog. [Fera]
Piers Taylor often posts images of himself in his studio and it looks a delightful place to work. It was constructed to demonstrate the possibilities of low-grade home-grown timber and amateur (but paid) labour. For an office space of 55m2, it’s impressive that it was built for £15,000 including materials and labour. [Paul]
This 10 unit, mixed-use development in London was completed for the ridiculously low £850/m2. Although this excludes the contractor’s profits, overheads and prelims [he chose a share of the development’s profit instead] it’s still extremely impressive given the quality of the design and the internal finishing! I particularly love how loud and proud the scheme is when viewed next to its scrubby collection of neighbouring buildings. [Alan]
This project shows that with a very low budget you can achieve amazing things. I particularly love the sliding doors detail; skateboards used as the sliding system, which is so ingenious! [Julie]