When Graham Hill renovated his 420 square foot apartment for the LifeEdited project, he was really limited by the ceiling height, and had to reject ideas that included loft beds; there just wasn't enough room to do them comfortably. Specht Harpman Architects had the opposite problem when renovating a 425 square foot apartment: They had 25 feet of ceiling to deal with. The result is a completely different approach.
In a space where "there wasn't even a reasonable space to locate a bed or a couch", they have created what they call the Manhattan Micro-Loft. It recently won the Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the Living Small category.
The architects write:
Our solution created four separate "living platforms" inserted within the space that provide for all the essentials and still allow the apartment to feel open and light-filled. The lowest level is an dentry and kitchen space, and a few steps up is the main living area. Above the living area is a cantilevered bed pavilion that projects out into the main spaces, supported on steel beams. A final stair leasds up to a roof garden. All the spaces flow into one antother, and the idea of distinct "rooms" is dissolved; in fact, the only door within the space is the one into the bathroom.
With minimal expendable space, Specht Harpman thought of that surface should be utilized for storage. Specht and his team looked to Japanese design influences and built under-stair drawers and cabinets that reference kaidan-dansu and other traditional designs. These clever spaces, Specht states, “Provide places to put your stuff, and places to feel some privacy, and places to get light and air, without feeling cramped and compromised.”
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