Micro apartment turned into a family home with transformer furniture

Using transformer units to make the most of the available space in small and micro apartments is not a new idea, but it’s always nice to see new approaches to it. One such is certainly this renovation by Spanish architect Angel Rico who turned a micro, 215 sq ft (20 sq m) apartment into a family home for three. He installed transformable, multi-functional elements and furniture, which makes this apartment much more spacious and comfortable.

The apartment is located right by the ocean, so one of the key considerations was maximizing the view. To achieve this, all the storage spaces, such as the closet, pantry and even the child’s bed have been placed on one side of the tiny space, and hidden inside a wall transformer unit. This wall has more than one layer. A part of it hinges out and reveals many smaller compartments, which are used to store various items to keep them out of the way. The child’s bed can also be hinged down then moved out of the way during the day.

The top of another part of this transformer wall can be unfolded to open up the kitchen, which can also be hidden away when not needed. The fridge is also stored inside this wall. The bathroom is separated from the rest of the space by another hinged wall, which is also a closet. This set up allows the occupants to shower and dress in the same space. Above the bathroom is a loft, which the mother uses to take naps in, since she works late shifts at the local hospital, though they might turn it into a kid’s bedroom eventually.

The living room features a sofa-bed, which is where the parents sleep. They also use this space for entertaining, since it can fit up to 11 guests. This is where they place the extendable table and chairs, which are otherwise hidden in a hatch in the ceiling. The apartment also has a balcony, which works to extend the living space of this micro apartment and makes it appear more spacious.

All in all, these renovations and clever uses of transformer furniture make this apartment appear much more spacious than it is.

Micro Tiny Home is a Minimalist’s Dream

Italian architect and engineer Leonardo Di Chiara recently designed and built a prototype of a micro tiny home, which is seriously small yet still wonderfully functional.  The so-called aVOID tiny house measures just 96 sq ft (9 sq) and is easily towable.  Given its diminutive size, it also presents some unique downsizing solutions.

The home rests atop a double-axle trailer and has a wooden frame, metal cladding, and plenty of glazing. The interior is comprised of a single room and a bathroom. To make the most of the available space, most of the furniture is hidden inside the walls. The home features a Murphy-style single bed, which can be pulled down when needed, and stored away during the day. It can also be turned into a double bed. The dining table also features a pull down design and can easily be stowed away when not needed.  There is also a small, but functional kitchenette, which features a sink, a two-burner induction stove, and some shelving for storage.

The aVOID home also features a rooftop terrace which is accessible via a ladder.  It is great for lounging on sunny days.  The bathroom is tiny and features a shower, composting toilet and some storage space.

Di Chiara is still working on the home, and plans to install solar panels and a greywater system, which will make it independent of the grid. The home is currently on display at Berlin’s Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, but DiChiara lives in it full time otherwise, with the goal of learning all he can about tiny house living. He says it’s not much different that living at home with his parents, in a small bedroom which must also serve many purposes as one grows up.

Tiny Home Design With a Hidden Bed

The tiny home builder Cubist Engineering, which is based in Greenwich, New York has created a very interesting tiny home, which has no standard bedroom. Instead, the bed is stowed away under the ceiling in the living room and lowered with the press of a button when needed.

The so-called Sturgis is a 21 ft (6.4 m)-long towable home, and despite its very small size it is quite spacious. Most of the space is gained by not having a standard bedroom, but the rest of the layout was also carefully planned with maximizing the available space in mind.

The Sturgis tiny home features a CLT (cross-laminated timber) structure, and has a cypress wood siding, which was treated by the Shou Sugi Ban method to preserve it and deter pests.  The home also features a fiberglass roof. The home has a total floor space of 170 sq ft (15.8 sq m) and much of it is taken up by the living area, which is equipped with a modular sofa, some cabinetry, and a coffee table.

The kitchenette is small but functional. It features a butcher block countertop, and a two-burner induction stove, while there is also enough space for a fridge and freezer. The bathroom is also quite small, but big enough for a shower, toilet and sink.

The Sturgis has no lofts, the queen-sized bed is simply lowered down by the flick of a switch when it is time for bed.  The mattress is supported by a steel frame, which is wrapped in maple.   According to Cubist Engineering, the bearing and railing system used to raise and lower the bed is the same one that is also used to load fuel rods in nuclear plants.

There is also a so-called “bonus space” in this tiny home, which was created by a raised space next to the living room. It can be used as a reading nook, or storage space and is big enough to store a motorcycle. It can also be used as a utility area, storage space, and more. This storage area can also be accessed from the outside via a gull-wing door that is operated by a remote control.

For power the tiny home uses a standard RV-style hookup, though a solar power system is an optional add-on to the basic version.  Other add-ons include a rainwater collection system, an exterior deck, a security package comprised of cameras and motion sensors, as well as a remote management system, which allows for controlling the lighting, etc. using a smartphone app.

The basic version of the Sturgis home without any add-ons costs $99,000. Apart from homes, the firm also offers different versions of this tiny dwelling, which are suitable as retail space, studios and more.

Holland to Get Its Own Vertical Forest

Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale idea has really taken off. Now the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands will get it’s own vertical forest tower.  Similar buildings have already been built in Paris, France and Lausanne, Switzerland. The tower in Holland will provide affordable inner-city social housing.

The so-called Trudo Vertical Forest will be 246 ft (75 m) tall and have 19 floors. The façade will feature 125 trees, 5,200 shrubs and more than 70 species of plants. These will help cleanse the air, improving its quality, as well as provide a pleasant environment to live in.

The basic design of this tower is different than the previous versions of Bosco Verticale.  The exterior is covered in concrete planters and terraces, which jut out from the sides.

The tower will feature 125 apartment units, intended for young people looking for an affordable place to live. Each apartment will have a balcony with one tree and 20 shrubs. The Stefano Boeri Architetti intends to prefabricate the sections needed to build this tower and then assemble them on site.

The project appears to still be in the planning stage at this time, and there is no information about when construction is set to begin, nor by when it will be finished. Although given the fact that this is a prefab building, it should be erected quickly.

Broom-Clad Backyard Office

For professionals working from home a dedicated office space can be a real productivity booster.  These spaces can also be used for a number of other purposes, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and more.  This interesting backyard office is certainly one such space. It is located in the backyard of a Nottingham, UK home, and is used as both a workspace and a relaxation space.  The office was designed by 2hD Architecture Workshop and it is an extension of an existing architecture office, which is located on the ground level of a family home.  What’s really interesting is that this home is clad in 546 coconut-fiber broom brushes, which makes for a very unique and a very hairy structure.

The architects jokingly call it Mission Control, and it became a necessary addition to the home office once children arrived. The office was built in a way that separates it almost entirely from the outside world to allow maximum immersion in the task at hand. There are no windows save for the skylight which floods the interior with light.  They also included a “commute” of sorts to this office, namely that one has to walk 13 feet before reaching it from the main office.  When looking at it from the outside, it also seems like there is no way in. All this was done to achieve maximum peace and quiet so the occupant could focus on just the task at hand.

The shed is entered via a concealed sliding door which is opened by a ‘secret panel’ broom head, which adds to the feeling that one is separated off from the rest of the world when inside it. the office is insulated with sheep wool, which keeps the interior temperature nice and cozy.  The interior measures 75 sq ft (7 sq m), and is big enough for two desks.  The interior is clad in plywood, which gives it a warm atmosphere. All in all, this is the perfect backyard office for anyone who needs total isolation in order to be more productive and focused.

By |February 15th, 2018|Design, Green Building|0 Comments

Paris is Getting a Vertical Forest Tower

Towers covered with greenery are not a new idea and the first ones are already getting built around the globe in an effort to fight the alarming pollution present in some cities. Now the Paris suburb of Villiers sur Marne is getting its own such tower. The so-called Forêt Blanche (which translates to White Forest) was designed by the famous architect Stefano Boeri, who is no stranger to proposing such vertical forest buildings. Towers based on his designs are already getting built in Switzerland and Milan, while a whole city of such towers is being planned in southern China. (more…)

By |November 17th, 2017|Green Building|0 Comments