The brief for this small-scale/big impact apartment from Tsai Design was to ‘bring life back to neglected housing stock.’ The architects took on a single bedroom unit within a 1970s walk-up apartment, that they describe as having ‘no working kitchen, an awkward layout, and no outdoor space.’
Working within the spatial limitations provided strict parameters, but also scope for experimental and innovative solutions. The architects introduced an internal window between the bathroom and kitchen to bring light into the restricted space, with an option to frost the glass with the click of a button to enable bathroom privacy. Hey presto – shower seclusion!
The bathroom design also encourages a sense of luxury and spaciousness, through the introduction of a moss and a lush plant wall. For a tiny space, this verdant foliage feels expansive, and connects the contained interiors to the surrounding environment.
The architects have seemingly conjured space out of thin air, through strategic layering and overlapping, where ‘two different functions can exist in the same space at different times.’ This spatial mastery creates a sense of micro-luxury, where a dining table slides seamlessly into cabinetry when not in use, a study table folds out when necessary, and a secret 1.5metre clothes line is 100% invisible – until you need it!
The apartment refrains from feeling crowded or tech-solution heavy, through the continuity of materials. The architects explain that the coordination of timber finishes in the long and lean kitchen, from ‘timber flooring, timber veneer joinery and wall panels’ give the impression of a ‘timber box inserted into an apartment space’, set against the bright white living area. A tiny treasure chest, and dramatic architectural reveal.
This tiny home is underpinned by an ethos of ‘questioning the modern-day lifestyle of living in excess and the modern throw-away culture of hyper consumerism.’ In a moment where everyone is Marie Kondo-ing their lives (please be mindful where you discard unwanted items in the downsizing process!), this small footprint home offers an inspiring low-impact model, where there is real joy in the perfect functionality of a space, and true luxury can be found with less, not more.