333 square foot apartment for 2 humans, 51 cats

cats in drawers
© Lei Zheng/Fanaf via ArchDaily

FANAF separates cats from people in tiny Shanghai apartment.

It's hard, living with 51 cats. (I have trouble living with one.) According to FANAF architects in ArchDaily, it can get uncomfortable, sharing just 333 square feet of Shanghai apartment. It's a problem.

The extent of the problem meant that it was common to find cat hair on kitchen utensils, and to sleep with more than a dozen cats at night. The owner did not have a place to relax alone and guests could not sit and enjoy conversation or stay for long periods. Secondly, in order to keep the cats from escaping, the windows were constantly shut, meaning the room did not have adequate ventilation. Additionally, as the place was located on the first floor of the building, sunlight could not enter the room during the day. The closed-off, tightly-knit area resulted in an unhealthy environment for the people and cats living in it.

No doubt. Some might say "too many cats!" and perhaps get rid of a few, but instead the architects sort of duplexed the apartment, with space for people and space for cats.

FANAF executed its vision with a three part strategy: separation, functionality and open/closed environments. 'Separation' refers to dividing the space between the master bedroom and the cats' living quarters; the kitchen and dining room and the cats' play area; and the human bathroom and cat bathroom.

It is really the best of both worlds; there is a sort of cat filing system, and a cat area with running water and a tree. The human zone has increased ventilation and new doors that act like blinds, letting air in but not letting the cats escape. You never really see 51 cats in the photos, which is probably why it all looks so clean and minimalist; the architects say that it now "feels cosy, breathable and inviting for all those inhabiting the space." More cats and images in ArchDaily.

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