In the hopes of making a dent in the growing affordable housing crisis, micro-apartments are now popping up in North American metropolises like New York and San Francisco. But in Europe, they're not uncommon, especially in old, dense city centres. In Milan's historical Brera District, we have this mind-boggling example of a 'transformer' apartment, where partitions and cabinets open and close to reveal storage, closets, plus a sitting area, and a sleeping and dining area.
Designed by Milan's PLANAIR, the open, 322 square-foot apartment is loosely divided into zones using accordion-style partitions made of durable ash wood. On one side is the kitchen and lounge, grouped around the entry. There are plenty of cabinets for storing belongings here, but visual clutter is reduced at the same time, thanks to the way it is designed.
On the other side of the main divide -- which can open up anyway by moving the walls -- is the sleeping platform and the dining/work table. Watch as the wall, then the corner, seems to dissolve as the walls shift.
To get up to the loft, you roll out a set of steps that are tucked underneath.
And the closet? It's right under the platform -- pretty clever (though my back aches just looking at that terribly thin mattress. Let's hope the inhabitants are hard-spined ascetics).
Inside the sleeping area, one can see that light can still come in through the holes cut into the folding walls, giving it a starry kind of feel.
No pictures of the bathroom, but it appears to be located right behind the sleeping loft and left of the entry door. It's an impressive design that packs a lot of functionality in a small space, making it feel much larger than it really is. More over at PLANAIR.