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This $11K tiny home is designed to perch on rooftops

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The Parasite House draws from the pre-existing infrastructure

A-frame timber house Andrés Villota

Cities are getting denser, but building up doesn’t always mean building higher. In recent years, architects have rediscovered the rooftop as a place of opportunity—not just for high-end condo amenities, but for actual livable space.

The most recent example is the Parasitic House, a 39-square-foot accessory dwelling unit that’s designed to sit on rooftops. The tiny home is the creation of El Sindicato Arquitectura, an Ecuadorian architecture studio that created the prototype as a way to address housing shortages associated with gentrification and rapid urbanization.

The A-frame house is made from a timber frame and steel facade, with coconut fiber insulation sandwiched in between. The layout is small but efficient with a compact kitchen, bathroom, and lofted bedroom that rises into a steep point.

House on rooftop Andrés Villota
Window in A-frame house Andrés Villota
Tiny home kitchen Andrés Villota

The architects designed the house to hook into existing plumbing and electricity systems (hence “parasitic”), which makes the structure more like an addition than a fully self-contained home. The architects say the prototype cost $11,000 to construct, and multiple units could be strung together to create a larger house.