After renovating the 22 m2 flat in Taipei, many people who own similar tiny living units tried to contact the architects, A Little Design, which made them realise that this type of living space is much more common than is generally acknowledged.
For the nature of her job, the flat owner frequently has to live abroad for long periods, and keeps this flat back in Taipei for holidays and for work demands. Therefore, saving commuting time in Taipei is her first consideration for a place to stay.
Although the owner does not need a big flat, the 17.6 m2 unit was too small to have the required living space and sufficient storage after specifying a queen-size bed, before it was redesigned.
The bathroom was relatively big compared to the small square footage of the whole space and the kitchen lacked practicality as it was too small to even have space for a fridge.
Therefore, redistributing the proportion of all functions was the first step to renovate the flat. After the original position of kitchen and bathroom were exchanged, the entryway and kitchen became a continuous space which increased the openness of the area.
The two solid walls of the kitchen provide adequate space for requisite equipment such as washing machine, fridge, and an electric stove, plus, the work surface is increased and improves the practicality of the kitchen.
The shelves and cupboards above and under the work surfaces contain the commonly used kitchen and table wares while the higher cabinet provides extra storage.
The new location of the bathroom gives this humid space better ventilation and sufficient sunlight and the slightly reduced room is still adequate.
The indent wall with shelves is used for storage and the sliding mirror door makes the bathroom more spacious and brighter visually.
In this flat, all functions are adjacent but clearly separated. For example, the stairs not only make the path to the sleeping mezzanine but also increase the accessibility to the cabinets in the wall.
Under the stairs, the higher part contains a fridge and a cupboard which extends the kitchen cabinets while the lower part provides the storage for the sofa area. The wardrobe announces the entryway and sofa area and provides a space for dressing with the shoe cabinet.
The sofa area behind the wardrobe is a small cozy corner which creates a dual purpose study/ living area. The sofa could also be used as a single bed to host a guest and the deep drawers below complement the storage.
The foldable table which could be adjusted in size provides working or dining function for the sofa area and storage for small stuff. The rise of the floor which is also a cabinet near the sofa resolve the obliquity of the stairs and the rise of the bathroom floor after moving the pipe. Then the book shelves, also a side table, make the sofa area a relaxing reading corner.
The window originally extended to the ground, the adjustment of the height of the window sill makes those functions possible. The beam which goes through the flat becomes the separator of service space and living space and the room under the beam is converted to wall cabinet and shapes a simple tabletop and drawer for the sleeping area at the top of the stairs.
These small dwellings have been existing in the city for decades. However, the layout of current micro flats is not the answer for the high-housing-price issue in Taipei City. A Little Design hope the application of this type of design can provide some solutions within this kind of living space.
Photography by Hey! Cheese
Project Name : 17.6-square-meter apartment (17.6-square-metre flat)