How Much Transforming Should a Transformer Apartment Transform?

©. Peter Kostelov via Dezeen

Pullout tables and beds change the character of the space in seconds. But is this trip really necessary?

Dezeen shows a lovely New York apartment renovation that reminds me a bit of Graham Hill's LifeEdited apartment, with all its pullout furniture and moving walls. This one is designed by Russian architect Peter Kostelov and unlike Graham's, maintains two bedrooms as separate permanent rooms.


© Theo Richardson

This is an important distinction. Theo Richardson of Rich Brilliant Willing, the runner-up in the LifeEdited competition, analyzed the time different functions were used and concluded that certain functions were used enough to deserve a permanent space. So his LifeEdited apartment design had a permanent master bedroom and a second transformer bedroom. The 12-person dinner party (a requirement of Graham's program) used the least amount of time and therefore got the least space. (I thought that the event would be so rare that it shouldn't even be a requirement; one could always rent.)

Dining room

© Peter Kostelov via Dezeen

But the big move in Peter Kostelov's apartment design is the dining room table and bench seats, which all fit into a slot that fits under the studio/bedroom, which has its own pullout bed. A commenter on Dezeen says about this one, "I went to a dinner party in this apartment and it hosted 12 people surprisingly well! " And I thought everyone in New York ate out.

Kostelov table hidden

© Peter Kostelov via Dezeen

Here is the living room without the table pulled.

Graham Hill LifeEdited dinner party photo

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

Here's Graham's 12-person table that folds up and disappears, in party mode. Both LifeEdited and Peter Kostalov devote an extraordinary amount of attention and effort to the 12-person dining table; and yet both have kitchens where I suspect it would be difficult to comfortably cook a dinner for that many people. Perhaps they order in.

According to Dezeen,

Kostelov intended to open up the home and create rooms that could serve multiple functions. "The main aim of the project is a concept of effortless transformation," said the architect. "For example, a living room can easily be transformed into a dining room, while a working studio turns into a guest bedroom in no time."
breakfast table in kitchen

© Peter Kostelov via Dezeen

The table and seating built into the wall opposite the kitchen looks particularly mean and uncomfortable, but does provide an option to pulling out the whole dining room table. And that Escher floor tile!

chairs partial pullout

© Peter Kostelov via Dezeen

Perhaps that's why there is this option, pulling the dining room table out part way and using living room chairs. You get a decent place to eat and if you hold your head right, you don't have to look at the kitchen floor tile.

Lots more photos on Dezeen.