The most efficient apartment ever

Posted on April 29th, 2010

This is quite freaky: Architect Gary Chang has created a 24-rooms-in-one-32-square-metre apartment (translation: he’s taken a tiny apartment and converted it such that it functions as 24 different rooms….using sliding walls). Check this out:

The New York Times describes it in more detail:

The wall units, which are suspended from steel tracks bolted into the ceiling, seem to float an inch above the reflective black granite floor. As they are shifted around, the apartment becomes all manner of spaces — kitchen, library, laundry room, dressing room, a lounge with a hammock, an enclosed dining area and a wet bar.

I like how obsessive some people can become about minimizing their lives. It becomes a practice for life and it’s a good one at that. Everything you do is prefaced with the question: do I have space for this, will it get in the way, will it complicate my life further.

In short, do I REALLY need this?

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  • Fi

    There wasn’t a real kitchen, if I remember the floor plan. No stove/microwave, just a fridge.


  • For dense cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo even New York I think this idea is genius. People don’t have to give up on their quality of life just because of minimal space.
    In Australia it’s a bit far fetched, but overall he seems to be on to something!


  • Wow. Even I would consider going back to my Darlo shoebox if I could get this guy to do a home makeover on it…
    I think the minimising mindset is a habit, much like anything else. I find I go shopping now and will pick up things I fall in love with, then ask myself, ‘Do I really, really need that?’ In homeware shops, I can be found carrying around armfuls of beautiful but useless things, putting them down just as I go to leave (which must drive the salespeople nuts). It’s almost like a process, I have to touch it, hold it, carry it, grieve for the fact that I can’t own it, then let it go without buying it. If I think about something really hard for over two days, I know it’s meant to be mine and I go back for it!
    Of course, this doesn’t work with handbags 🙂


  • This is pretty amazing but it would only work for certain types of people. Sure you’ve got everything you need but I really like a sense of space, the ability to move around, a large kitchen to bake in etc. You’re arms would get a workout though from moving the heavy walls around so much!


  • David

    Could this be adapted to other areas, especially abstractly?


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  • Daphne

    @camila-there is obviously no space in Hong Kong to accomodate a large kitchen and sense of space unless you are extremely wealthy…which is why he came up with this type of transforming apartment. You didn’t intercept that from the video?


  • We need to appreciate the cleverliness of using the space this way in the context of Hong Kong living, where 500 sq ft 2 BR apartment is the norm for middle class (if you can afford one); where 2 x 2m is the size of a normal kitchen (including a fire door swinging in); where bay window (900 above floor) is used to accomodate 1/3 of a bed; where shower head is often found above wc; where lounge room means an alcove for a 3 seater sofa (from where you can watch your neighbour’s TV as well as your own); where triple bunker and 4 level bunker (separated with chicken wire mesh) can be “homes” for some people.
    Most of the older style government housing unit is only half the size of the space shown. Many typical families of 4 person live in those units. Or should we say “survive” rather than “live”?
    There was a debate in the HK Legislative Council in the 80s about whether a law should be passed to control the minimum size of habitable rooms in residential development. “How big a room should be really depends on how big a bed needs to be (and that depends on how a person sleep!)” That is the true spirit of free market !!
    In this case, the room is very BIG (relative to the fold up bed).