This small and versatile apartment in the heart of Paris uses innovative modern materials for its furniture and cabinetry.
Smaller living spaces are becoming a trend over here in North America, but over in Asia and Europe, they're quite common, especially in older cities with dense, historic centres. In Paris' iconic Le Marais neighbourhood -- known for its grand buildings and museums -- Italian design firm EDB Studio renovated a tiny 172-square-foot (16-square-metre) apartment into an impressive, multifunctional live-work space. Watch this short tour:
According to designers Enrico Bona and Elisa Nobile, the aim was to create a flexible space that could not only accommodate sleeping, eating and bathing, but also for work. This was done by consolidating most of the bulky furniture (such as beds and dining table) and various functions (cooking, bathing) into a white box at one end of the apartment. That clears a zone of open space, where it can be used for work, via a large work table that folds down from the wall. They say:
[The apartment's design was] a tailoring work, designed to the millimeter by EDB STUDIO, which works from the concept of carefully situating a large cabinet-container, in which the various functions are hidden; all without affecting the suggestive original space, brought back to light thanks to a scrupulous conservative recovery aimed at enhancing the Parisian charm to the maximum.
This free zone is also where the two beds, hidden within the white volume, can fold down. Alternatively, a small dining table can be deployed too from under one of the two beds.
In between the two beds is a hidden door that leads into the bathroom, which is equipped with a small sink, shower and counter running along one side.
Turning the corner of the pale-coloured volume, one sees integrated wardrobe cabinets and a tiny kitchen with sink and two-burner stove -- not a lot of space for full-on cooking, but functional nonetheless for making simple meals.
Much of the cabinetry and furniture was made using FENIX, an innovative nano-tech material that has a super-smooth, matte finish that is easy to machine, easy to clean, hygienic, and resistant to fingerprints, meaning that the designers could opt for push-pull openers, eliminating the need for visible handles and resulting in a less-cluttered look. Nevertheless, despite the ultra-minimalist look, some of the original elements of the apartment were preserved as much as possible, namely the restored wooden beams and the limestone walls.
As we've seen time and time again with a variety of tiny homes and micro-apartments, it's amazing what careful design can do to preserve and simultaneously expand a small space. To see more, visit EDB Studio.