Dense city centers like Paris and Madrid are full of old apartments that people often renovate by knocking down walls to create larger, more modern spaces. Working in one of the oldest parts of Paris, French architect Anne Rolland turned this ground-floor apartment in a 17th-century townhouse into a spacious studio, complete with a super-cool, secret underground hideaway, accessible by ladder.
Seen over at Dezeen, Rolland revived this space of 258 square feet, which had been abandoned for more than seventy years, but in its glory days used to be the stables and kitchen of a former hotel. Rolland began by removing all the partitions and adding a new, multifunctional furniture unit which divides the space in two. Says Rolland:
The furniture system incorporates a desk, a dresser, drawers and cupboards. I used Scandinavian-style birch plywood as it is a resistant material and doesn't require finishing.
The sleeping area is raised on a platform behind this plywood unit, and the bathroom is off to the side -- this is the only part of the space that is completely closed off.
The floor was redone with an eye-catching, patterned tiling, an aesthetic reference to old-time Parisian bars. The kitchen here is simple but attractive with its red backsplash.
Situated in the middle of the floor here is the trapdoor opening that goes down to the underground space, which used to be a slurry pit: a reservoir where residents could once dump animal waste and other organic matter. Long empty, it's now been cleaned and transformed into a 107-square-foot sound-making studio, says Rolland:
The man who lives in the apartment plays guitar, so the downstairs room will be a music box and home cinema. That way he can make music and watch films without annoying his neighbours.
As we can see here, micro-apartments in coveted urban centers need not be new builds; in fact, they could be found and built out of under-utilized spaces such as this one. More over at Dezeen and Anne Rolland.