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With its small and awkward footprint, this 350-square-foot building could have been a lost cause from the start were it not for the ingenuity of the architects and the flexibility of the owner.

Walls become reading nooks or narrow staircases (with hardly room for anything like a handrail!) when indented, or house hidden chairs that can be pulled out where they are thicker. Christian Pottgiesser worked and reworked these connections until all needs were met in this minimal abode.

As the plan illustrates, the central space is the key, and becomes an annex to tiny rooms and other functions around the periphery of the building, like a bed without any floor area beyond the space directly below it.

Trap doors and other tricks add elements of interaction and surprise, packing as much possibility as, well, possible, into this small space. Copious glass provides natural illumination to make it feel bigger as well.