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.
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.