In this renovation of a 536-square-foot (50 square metres) apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil's Vão Arquitetura puts the loft addition technique to good use, creating an additional storage space and a perch to sit upon and gaze over the rest of the home.
Because the original apartment layout did not have a closed room, the new configuration aimed to improve circulation and functionality: moving the kitchen to another area, while creating a bedroom that can be closed off. The designers say:
Contrary to what usually is proposed in renovations, the work was carried out virtually without demolition. The extension of an existing wall allowed us to create a volume that internally shelters the bed [and moves it] to the rear façade, where the windows open to an internal garden of collective use. In addition to protecting the sleeping area from sounds coming from the street, the purpose of the new organization was to improve the proportions of integrated living areas (living room, kitchen and balcony), as well as the natural light in these environments.
Since this apartment is at the top floor of an apartment building, the sloped roof provided some extra headroom that wasn't being used in the original scheme. The new volume that now shelters the bed could be turned into another space for relaxation, accessible by ladder.
At one end of this loft/bedroom volume is a series of cabinets that can store clutter away, and it's the first thing you see once you enter through the door.
The main focus of the kitchen is this custom-made concrete and wood unit, which seems to have some kind of water catchment element in the back, to facilitate the drying of the cups hanging overhead. Concrete isn't the greenest material, but here it does give a striking visual contrast, relative to the white-painted walls.
That same concrete theme is carried over to the vanity in the bathroom.
Here's a view of the new bedroom, which has a thin wall to separate it from the hallway it shares with the bathroom. The side table elements here are deliberately narrow, to increase space around the bed, without losing storage space.
There's always a better way to do things, and as this new layout shows, one can gain that much more space in a small apartment by taking advantage of that extra bit of ceiling and adding a loft -- and a real bedroom underneath. More over at Vão Arquitetura.