An investigation into the design of small apartments.
Non-empirical evidence from my own experience suggests that in the city, apartments are shrinking in size to meet the demand for housing at a lower price point. Building smaller and denser is a much more sustainable use of materials and resources. Additionally, these space saving designs and techniques can be implemented even when space is not at such a high premium.
As a starting point, I settled on a simple 372 square foot unit area that is 31 ft deep and 12 ft wide. The depth of this space falls within the standard dimensional range of a theoretical building with a double-loaded corridor. The width is as realistically narrow as I could make it and still meet the minimum egress requirements for doors and hallways. With this footprint established, I looked into three variations, focused on a different occupant type, each with its own challenges and priorities. With a unit this small, sacrifices are necessary and flexibility is the key.
The first variation is a conventional studio design for a single occupant, perhaps used as a pied-à-terre, with a large (relatively speaking) kitchen. Secondly, I’ll look at a flexible and open one-bedroom design that can accommodate several occupants or guests. The last design pushes the envelope and squeezes in two bedrooms to accommodate a roommate or family scenario.
More details on each design below.