Flashy modern design, while it has its place, in most cases simply cannot compare to the simple, traditional architecture of the world. The La Vall de Laguar House by Enproyecto Arquitectura in Spain is a shining example of how smaller and simpler is often better.

The site of the home – a small mountainside village in an out-of-reach location – would only legally allow for a very small structure. A maximum footprint of 25 square meters (or 82 square feet) meant that the building had to be quite restrained.

The builders were, however, allowed to build up rather than out. While the ground level of the house features a living room and kitchen, the top level houses a single bedroom.

The planning regulations also allowed for a buried cistern level of 50 square meters. In this case, the space of the cistern is occupied by a second bedroom, a studio and a bathroom.

Skylights built at the surface level allow light into the underground space. On the surface, they appear to be two built-in benches just outside of the home’s door. They blend into the surroundings just like the rest of the home, which is made from local stone.

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Because the home is so small, the architects did not want to build storage space that extended into the living space and reduced the overall available area. One of the side walls is therefore slightly thicker than the others to house storage spaces and fireplaces, creating the illusion of a more open interior.