NanaotectureRebecca Roke, author of more than 350 published articles has recently published her first book: Nanotecture, Tiny Built Things. This little gem of a book collates over 300 fun, surprising and inspiring small-scale pieces of architecture.

Co.Design describes the book as “an ode to spatial efficiency.” And Architectural Digest stated that it “… celebrates the appeal and ingenuity of small-scale architecture.” We happen to agree. So to tempt you all into a reasonably priced purchase we have included in this blog some of the miniature marvels for your delectation.


TuboHotel, Mexico by T3arc.


“This is a charming idea of repurposing something – namely concrete storm drains,” says Roke of these hotel rooms.

TubeHotel 2

The idea was to create cost effective backpackers accommodation, but due to the design flare the project had proved popular to a wide range of travellers.


Sling Swing, Canada by WMB Studio.

Sling Swing

This UK based practice came up with an igneous solution to providing seating to the visitors to Toronto’s Kew and Balmy beaches during the winter.

Sling swing 2

The design was inspired by the numerous deckchairs that litter the slopes. The traditional elements of the deck chair have been reconfigured to create a fun and comfortable meeting place.


Skating Shelters, Canada by Patkau Architects.

Skating Shelters

These gorgeous Winnepeg Skating Shelters were featured in Detail magazine and for good reason. Winnepeg suffers from 6-month winters and temperatures that drop to minus 40. These shelters provide the necessary break from the winds which could be life saving.

Skating Shelters 2

The design is centred on the idea of a flock or herd of shelters, which stand with their backs to the wind. The clustering of the structures provides additional protection from the elements, whilst the thin ridgelines prevent the build up of snow on the structures.


Walden, Germany by Nils Holger Moormann.


This incredible combined space serves as both a shed and garden room. The building was inspired by the American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s Life in the Woods.

Walden 2

Walden offers room for things we associate with the garden and the outdoors, such as a campfire recreated by a swinging cauldron.

Walden 3

“It’s an enjoyable, innovative and moveable space,” say Roke, “and there is a sundeck on the roof you can climb on to.”


Mirrored Tree House, Sweden by Tham and Videgård Arkitekter.

Mirrored Tree House

This camouflaged Tree House is part of an eco-tourist Tree Hotel complex. The building is designed by the Architects of Hemmet Home, see our blog House of Clicks:


This amazing mirrored cube is set in the middle of woodland near the Arctic circle. The shelter is made from lightweight aluminium, and is 4m cubed.


The interior is lined with plywood to reflect the setting. The cube includes a double bed, toilet, living area and roof terrace.


Serpentine Pavilion 2002, UK by Toyo Ito.

Serpentine Pavilion

Located in Kensington Gardens, this steel framed structure is only temporary. The angles and cuts look random but are in fact very precise.

Serpentine Pavilion 2002 2

The triangular and trapezoid shapes were generated by an algorithm developed by Cecil Balmond, consulting artist.


Images sourced from: The beauty of ‘nanotecture’ by Paul Kerley, Published 28th March 2016.


Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things, by Rebecca Roke is published by Phaidon. First released on 31st March 2016.