Small spaces are trendy. It can also be a reality if you live in space-crunching cities such as New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. That doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize the space. Check out these amazing spaces.
Architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects reconfigured this 450-square-foot studio apartment in Manhattan into an origami-like space, in which four distinct living spaces — a bedroom, an office and library, a guest bedroom and a living room — and countless other configurations all tuck into an oversized blue cabinet. The remodeling cost is about $70,000, a relatively small price to pay for a clutter-free lifestyle.
Another great example is the “Domestic Transformer” , a 344-square-foot apartment designed by Gary Chang in Hong Kong. For three years now, Chang has been living large in his tiny apartment. His custom space can be configured into 24 unique room combinations, thanks to a strategic series of sliding panels and walls. The most recent renovation took a year and cost about $218,000. He hopes his innovative designs will help improve domestic life in densely-populated Hong Kong. The shortage of space — caused by a population boom between 2003 and 2007 — has contributed to an increase in stress. The architect aims to see his ideas implemented in multi-unit buildings, encouraging developers to check out his tiny abode.
If small apartments are not your cup of tea, how about a small house? San Francisco artist Dana Kawano and her husband John Dunham set out to fulfill their long-held dream of living in the city in a home with a spacious—indoor—art studio. Completed in 2007 for $3 million, the couple’s modern, metal-wrapped home rises just shy of 50 feet in an alley near the gritty southern outskirts of San Francisco’s South of Market district, a once-industrial area now dotted with bars, loft developments and dot-coms like Twitter and Zynga. Visitors enter through a 10-foot-tall steel door and step into a canyon-like, concrete hallway open to the sky, leading to separate entrances to the home and Ms. Kawano’s ground-floor art studio. The lot’s 25-by-100-foot dimensions set the design concept early on. “The idea of vertical circulation tied everything together,” said architect Olle Lundberg, whose portfolio includes Twitter’s headquarters and Larry Ellison’s Pacific Heights home. He noted that a more typical height restriction for a single-family home in the city is 35 feet.
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