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An outdoor shower beside an indoor shower; a soft headboard of pine boughs in the bedroom; a hard steel beam spanning the living room; a bathtub that's part terrarium, part brutalist concrete sculpture; an exterior as futuristic as Star Trek yet glimpses of the 130-year-old cottage remain; a tiny lot, yet an expansive courtyard plan.

Le Corbusier could live here, Carlo Scarpa or any of the high modernist priests of old. But so, too, could an earthy, 21st-century hippie.

That's because this is a house of juxtapositions, of contrasts. In the once mostly blue-collar city of Hamilton, this once-modest, one-storey worker's cottage on Macauley Street West now shines with the kind of artistic flair that's been busting out all over "the Hammer" in recent years. And it does it all in less than 1,400 square feet.

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