Allotment House by Kristian Olesen Takes Cues from Traditional Nordic Design

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Titled Allotment House, this small home takes design inspiration from traditional Nordic allotment houses – self-built wooden houses, frequently constructed with recycled materials.



The project, which was completed in 2018, was designed and overseen by Danish architect, Kristian Olesen. The property can now be found overlooking countryside of Aarhus, Denmark.



Allotment House has a small footprint that measures just 538.19-square-feet (50-square-meters). From outside it resembles a large contemporary shed, or small barn.



Wood is the material of choice here, being used on the outside as cladding, and on the inside as a surface finish. The internal wood finish perhaps emphasizes its traditionally inspired roots.

The house aims to bring the occupants closer to nature from both within and out. The interior sports a number of picturesque view points, framed by large windows. The exterior features a series of small gardens intended for the recreational farming of vegetables.


Olesen opted for a form which wouldn’t impose on the landscape. It’s low and compact and makes the most of the space allocated to it. The house is actually set on a raised foundation that aims to provide better views from the inside and protect it from flooding.

The shape of the house is compact and adapted to optimize the limited space of the plot. The house is elevated on foundations to provide a better view of the surrounding landscape and ensure flood protection. – Kristian Olesen


The floor plan follows a linear layout, which makes sense given its width. At the far right of the plan you have the bedroom, which backs onto the bathroom. Sliding doors at both ends of the bathroom help keep these quarters more private.

Beyond the bathroom, there’s an open plan kitchen, dining area and living room. The kitchen is set along one of the side walls. It’s “embedded” to create a flush finish with the various cupboards and storage units.

The interior of the house is organized as a single space that spans the entire length of the building. The space has a vaulted ceiling to reflect the exterior shape inside the house. – Kristian Olesen

The interior features a vaulted ceiling throughout, adding to the sense of spaciousness. Just beyond the living room there’s a small outdoor patio and kitchen.


Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.