Tiny 290 sq. ft. duplex renovation is an "urban cocoon"

David Foessel
© David Foessel

As real estate is getting more expensive and smaller in big cities, designers are finding new, creative ways to maximize the space that is available. In Paris' eleventh arrondissement (or district), Design Milk shows how architect Nathalie Eldan gives this 27-square-metre (290 square feet) one-room duplex a minimalist makeover that increases overall functionality with the addition of large, built-in furniture.

David Foessel© David Foessel

Dubbed Urban Cocoon, there is a subtle balancing of between private spaces and functional spaces, which are spread out over two levels. The upper level features an elevated sleeping nook, kitchen and lots of storage, contained with large, full-height birch plywood cabinets, set against one side of the space. Opposite that is a sitting area, populated with one couch.

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

The bed sits upon a platform that also has some storage capacity tucked in the drawers underneath. Like other small-space designs which features some kind of secluded area for sleeping, Eldan's approach creates a semi-private, cozy space tucked in one corner, thanks to the addition of woven wooden screens that sit on tracks, sliding in and out as necessary.

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

The home's lower level consists of a bathroom and a separate entrance (it's also apparently occupied by a private business on the other side), which is reached by the way of a spiralling metal staircase. This delicate structure floats above a custom-made piece of shoe storage furniture that also incorporates steps for the lower part of the stairs, and also hides the home's water tank.

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

David Foessel© David Foessel

It's a smart but simple design. By shifting all the storage into one tall wall, extra space is liberated in what would otherwise be a cramped space; downstairs, the stairs also becomes much-needed storage to hide the clutter of shoes and a big water tank. To see more, visit Nathalie Eldan.

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