Cleverly rotated volumes make the most of a tiny Shanghai apartment

July 30, 2018 by  
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With a population of over 24 million, it’s no wonder that apartments are small in the Chinese mega-city of Shanghai . Thanks to clever space-saving techniques and design, however, making life pleasant in small spaces is more than possible, as seen in this recent apartment renovation on Kangping Road. Local architecture practice TOWOdesign transformed a tiny apartment into the 10 Degrees House, a multifunctional abode that uses enclosed volumes to cleverly delineate its various programs while maintaining an open and colorful character. Despite the 430-square-foot apartment’s small footprint , the brief asked for a home that would include a bedroom as well as an office, entertainment area, storage and all other functions necessary in daily living. Rather than walls, the TOWOdesign inserted four “function boxes” with curved edges, each of which services a different program. The four boxes include the bedroom, bath, entertainment space and the centrally placed kitchen with integrated storage. All of the boxes are wrapped in light-colored timber, except for the kitchen unit that is covered in glossy, bright yellow panels. “However, some contradictions appeared after placing the boxes in this small space, especially the box for entertainment; it blocked the entire flow line and view of the whole space,” the architects said in a project statement. “Therefore, TOWOdesign made some adjustment to the previous design. They rotated all the functional boxes by 10 degrees; in this way, said problems were all solved perfectly. What’s more, the 10 degree rotation made some interesting intersections. For example, next to the box for resting, the intersection space happens to be good for installing a staircase with storage cabinets hidden, which is very flexible and practical.” Related: This kitchen in a box makes it easy to cook in micro-apartments and tiny homes The spaces in between the rotated volumes, such as the living room and open kitchen, feel spacious thanks to the use of white walls and large mirrors. Space-saving elements, like the folding dining table and plenty of hidden storage, help reduce visual clutter. + TOWOdesign Images by TOWOdesign

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Cleverly rotated volumes make the most of a tiny Shanghai apartment

This space-saving tiny home offers sustainable housing atop garages in Sydney

June 18, 2018 by  
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As the housing crisis in Sydney continues to intensify, some are tapping into the real estate potential in the city’s backyards and alleys. In a bid to catalyze the development of ‘laneway studios,’ Surry Hills-based McGregor Westlake Architecture has offered a small and sustainable housing model that builds atop existing garage units. Conceived “to subvert the council norm,” this smart tiny home boasts space-saving features and a striking contemporary design. McGregor Westlake Architecture’s Laneway Studio was developed partly to address the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) reactions to shoddy laneway homes born from poor design and inadequate planning guidelines. In contrast, the architecture firm’s prototype shows how good design can turn a tiny and uninspiring plot into a tiny house that not only feels spacious, but also enjoys access to natural light and privacy. The windows on the east and west allow for natural ventilation, while exterior blinds mitigate solar heat gain — no air conditioning needed. The key to the design is the addition of a standing seam metal mansard roof punctuated by dormer windows. The interior, which measures a mere 269 square feet, is lined with honey-colored Australian Hoop Pine sourced from managed forests paired with a linoleum floor made largely of linseed oil. The tiny home comfortably accommodates two in an efficient layout that stacks the living spaces above the existing garage. An open living area, kitchen and dining space dominate the upper floor plan, and the bedroom and bathroom are tucked behind sliding wood-paneled doors. LED lighting is used throughout the tiny house. The homeowners also enjoy access to a rear courtyard . Related: Efficient SIP Laneway House Pops Up in an Unused Urban Backyard in Vancouver “The project is like a case study for a Laneway Studio or Garage-Top dwelling,” the architects said. “As the need for density and intensity of use grow, the 25sqm footprint is an important sustainable model for the fine-grained pedestrian city. In doubling the height of existing frontages and adding another layer of use along it’s length, this building type has the potential to positively transform lanes toward the qualities of our best streets: active, connected and urbane places.” + McGregor Westlake Architecture Images by Brett Boardman

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This space-saving tiny home offers sustainable housing atop garages in Sydney

How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

March 17, 2017 by  
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America’s affordable housing crisis is squeezing people out of cities, but one Harvard researcher believes he’s developed a beautiful and high-tech solution to the problem. In 2015, Jeff Wilson—also known as “Professor Dumpster” after his year-long dumpster living experiment—unveiled Kasita , a smart microhousing startup that aims at disrupting the housing market with prefabricated tiny homes that can pop up just about anywhere. After a couple years in development, Wilson just debuted the Kasita microhouse at SXSW this week with the announcement that the tiny stackable homes will be ready for nationwide delivery in June. Stylish, smart, and space-saving, the 352-square-foot (33 square meter) Kasita mobile home offers a beautiful split-level living space that uses transforming furniture , white walls, and ten-foot-high ceilings to make its small footprint feel airy and spacious. Most impressively, the home is outfitted with ultra-modern amenities and home automation such as the dynamic curtain-less windows that can be turned opaque with a smartphone app to the Amazon Alexa-powered lighting modes. The high-tech stackable homes can be moved around with a crane, placed virtually anywhere, and can be prefabricated in as little as three weeks. https://vimeo.com/207700762 Envisioned for installation in unused areas of land like vacant parking lots, the Kasita aims to keep land lease costs low by taking advantage of undevelopable real estate in prime urban areas. The flexibility and modularity of the Kasitas lend themselves for use as apartments, multi-family homes, student housing, workforce housing, and more. Related: Meet the Texas Professor Who Lives in a Dumpster The Kasita comes fully equipped with all the traditional home amenities—including a walk-in shower, fridge, convection oven, washer/dryer, cooktop, and queen-sized bed—as well as lots of space-saving storage and access to natural light. Each unit costs $139,000, which according to Wilson’s calculations comes out to an estimated $800 monthly mortgage not including land lease costs. Interested customers can pay $1,000 to hold a spot on the waitlist for preorders. + Kasita

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

February 23, 2017 by  
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Danish design firm Studiomama is known for their talent of creating comfy living space out of virtually nothing. However, designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama recently put their skills to the test by buying a vacant 140-square-foot structure in Northern London just to convert the tiny space into “London’s smallest house”. Taking a cue from space-efficient interiors of caravans and boats, the designers focused on making use out of every corner of the compact space by creating flexible furniture . “A tiny space like this has to be designed like one would design the interior of a caravan or boat,” Studiomama co-founder Nina Tolstrup explained, “Everything has to be custom designed as there is not room for any off the shelf furniture, which was a great challenge.” Related: Space-saving furniture transforms to make the most of a Hong Kong micro-apartment https://youtu.be/gIfNhakS_PY Using plywood as the main material, they equipped the home with custom-made, adjustable furniture to divide it into distinct functions. The foldout bed , standing desk, and extendable dining benches add utility without occupying permanent space. Mirrors placed on either side of the home were create a feeling of amplitude, and two large windows allow for optimal natural light . To create a nice lounge area, a medium-size bench and a foldout footrest were installed into the main wall, which is covered in sliding pastel-hued panels. These panels cover use-specific storage cabinets such as a designated office space with a foldout desk, a sewing machine table, shelving for books, and even a wine rack. The designers used plywood for the furniture, as well as the ceilings and flooring, because of its versatility. “The use of one dominant material has made the space seamless – where floor, walls and ceiling comes together as one,” they said. “It is also a very warm material that makes the space feel cosy and cabin like.” The design layout for the tiny home was originally an installation for the 2016 London Design festival. The designers wanted to show how compact living can be comfortable. “We see the issues of how to live in a compact living space to be of growing importance, especially given the trends towards urbanisation and rise of megacities,” they said. “We wanted to use the project to pose a question about what are the things that we really need to live comfortably.” + Studiomama Via Dezeen Photography by Rei Moon, Director/Photographer MOON RAY Studio. Video by Suzie Joyce.

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

Cleverly designed bed makes this tiny home feel bigger than its 35-square-meter footprint

January 3, 2017 by  
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Thirty-five square meters (376 square feet) is a very small amount of space to call home, especially if you’re sharing with another person. But Studio Bazi founder and architect Alireza Nemati manages to make it work in style with his self-designed micro-apartment in Moscow. The tiny apartment, which he shares with his wife, makes the most of its small footprint with a few clever space-saving tricks and custom furnishings, including a smartly designed bedroom. Central to Nemati’s design was the need for an open-plan space that maximized natural light but still preserved privacy for the sleeping areas. The key to his successful design lay with his custom wooden sleeping box stacked above storage space located next to the entrance. This use of a level change effectively separates the sleeping quarters from the living areas without the need for a separate room and door, while providing much-needed storage space underneath. The box is clad in stained pine sheets to visually define the structure and to add warmth to the interior. Related: Bookshelf House fits hundreds of books into multifunctional furnishings “The wooden sleep box with storage system provides a level of privacy separating the sleeping quarters in a raised corner of the apartment, from the kitchen and living area on the other side,” writes the architect. “There is a good view of whole flat and to the windows from inside of the sleep box which makes it very cozy place.” The stairs that lead up to the bed hide three large sliding shelves for storing large household appliances. The custom-built furniture also includes a dresser, drawer, and wardrobe. The storage spaces atop the wardrobe connect to the sleep box and create an extra cubby for the architect and his wife to use. A small set of white curtains provides privacy for the sleeping box while a larger set of brown curtains next to the sleeping box cordon off the entrance, wardrobe area, and door to the bathroom from the rest of the open-plan living space. Large windows fill the tiny apartment with natural light and a door opens up to a small outdoor patio. The open-plan space includes a kitchen, dining area, and living area with moveable and transformable furniture that can adapt to Nemati and his wife’s different needs. + Studio Bazi Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Bazi

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Cleverly designed bed makes this tiny home feel bigger than its 35-square-meter footprint

Clever staircase doubles as a bookcase in a small London home

March 21, 2016 by  
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When Tamir Addadi Architecture was approached to convert a loft in a London home into a bedroom that could accommodate a large library, the architects knew they would need to take creative space-saving measures. One such space-spacing project came in the creation of the loft’s new staircase . To maximize use of space, the open-tread staircase doubles as a bookcase that runs along the side of the stairs. The simple structural design allows natural light to penetrate through the structure and was assembled on-site within a few days. + Tamir Addadi Architecture The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Clever staircase doubles as a bookcase in a small London home

Moving origami partition maximizes space in tiny Madrid apartment

December 7, 2015 by  
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Moving origami partition maximizes space in tiny Madrid apartment

Grow Fresh Herbs in Style with the Ecofarm Aquaponics Starter Kit

November 26, 2014 by  
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Growing fresh herbs at home is a popular way to bring greenery indoors, but what if you could turn that spot of gardening into an educational activity for the family? Enter the Ecofarm , an aquaponics starter kit that combines a pet fish tank and grow bed into a single stylish and space-saving design. The Ecofarm works by pumping ammonia rich fish waste into the grow bed, where it is absorbed by the hydroponic plants. Designed by Dutch company Ecobird , the Ecofarm set is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter . + Ecofarm Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aquaponics , aquaponics starter kit , ecobird , Ecofarm , herbs , kickstarter , organic herbs , reader submitted content , space-saving design

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Grow Fresh Herbs in Style with the Ecofarm Aquaponics Starter Kit

Tiny 86-Square-Foot Flat in Paris Transforms Like a Swiss Army Knife

November 6, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny 86-Square-Foot Flat in Paris Transforms Like a Swiss Army Knife Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: French architects , kikoto , modular furniture , Paris , small apartments , small space living , space-saving design , Swiss Army Knife , tiny spaces , transformable furniture

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Tiny 86-Square-Foot Flat in Paris Transforms Like a Swiss Army Knife

Oil Exploration Threatens Africa’s Last Mountain Gorillas

November 6, 2014 by  
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Sir David Attenborough has added his voice to the campaign demanding U.K. company Soco International stop exploring for oil in Virunga National Park . Established in 1925, Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas . The iconic filmmaker and naturalist has raised urgent concerns over various threats to the park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the subject of a powerful documentary , to be released on Netflix this Friday 7 November, 2014. Read the rest of Oil Exploration Threatens Africa’s Last Mountain Gorillas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , conservation , corruption , Democratic Republic of Congo , documentary , elephants , gorillas , habitat destruction , intimidation , mining , oil exploration , resource extraction , Sir David Attenborough , UNESCO , Virunga , Virunga National Park , world heritage site

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Oil Exploration Threatens Africa’s Last Mountain Gorillas

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