Tiny Transforming Apartment Packs Eight Rooms Into 32sqm

Living in New York City isn't all adventure and dynamism. Unless you are wealthy the way no real person is, you probably have to settle for a living space that is cramped and cluttered. It is the project of Graham Hill, entrepreneur and treehugger.com founder, to come up with an ideal New York apartment — one with a small footprint, both physically and environmentally, and one that offers just as much beauty and functionality as a pad multiple times its size.

Hill's Life Edited apartment is a constantly evolving space. He is always tinkering and researching, looking to streamline the already spare cube in SoHo to its bare necessities. Still, what exists now seems completely liveable with very few compromises. Even for a pack-rat like myself, there is an allure to its simplicity.

When you walk in, you encounter what is, at first glance, a small studio apartment. Within that cube are actually eight functional spaces. The living room and office become the bedroom with a tug of a bookshelf. Open one of the closets and you'll find 10 stackable chairs that go around a telescopic dining table for large dinner parties. An entire guest room with bunk-beds and a closet is revealed behind a wall that slides out on tracks. And of course, a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom await.


Dining Room


Guest Room

The space doesn't only rely on proprietary architectural designs. It is also an amalgamation of furniture and wares from dozens of companies. From the kitchen tongs to the shower head, every object has been chosen for its economy of space, design and sustainability.

Video: Michael Hession; Music: Upright TRex Republished from Gizmodo.


    It's not like Sydney's some picnic either. 600 plus a week to rent an apartment in the CBD and they are small!

    I question the trade off of having all those automated systems, moving walls, gadgets, inbuilt and bespoke joinery, etc. versus using that money to just get a larger apartment.

    Oh, people living in living rooms is not uncommon in Hong Kong (per the youtube link to another creative design)? So that's why there's so much of it going on in the Sydney CBD's Chinatown area. I wish that they'd put some regulations in on the number of people who can lodge in units. It's really getting out of hand. When 5 students are each willing to pay $140/week to share a 1BR apartment in the CBD, it makes it tough for those of us who are single people on reasonable salaries to compete.

    We're not willing to support profit-at-any-cost in other sectors, so I don't think we should turn a blind eye to the creation of overcrowded third-world living conditions in the name of supporting high real estate values in the city, either.

    Definitely, hidden storage behind things, and using all available vertical space, is the way to go. I lived for 8 years in 42sqm, and currently live in about 24sqm (very small studio, and yes, I do have a storage closet in the parking garage with another few sqm of space, so I don't suffer as badly as you'd think), so I appreciate the elegance of a lot of these things. In return for the perceived "suffering" of minimal space, I get the convenience (which means more fun and more time back in my life) of CBD living, less housework because there's less to clean, and the all important encouragement to go out and do things with others rather than staying on my own. Also add: It keeps you from accumulating too much. After a point, you either have to sell something you need less, or make do without it is that you'd like to buy. An unanticipated side effect is that you actually learn more about your personal priorities. For me, it's geekdom (two 27" monitors), music (keyboard pulls out from under desk), having a good place to sit and relax (two dish chairs instead of a sofa, one of which is usually folded up and under my bed unless company's coming), etc.

    The youtube link's sliding walls examples are, as far as I can tell from my experience, straight on as a best practice to make most efficient use of space. It's even catching on in the US West Coast as a "modern design for sustainable living" feature.

    Last edited 20/01/13 11:39 pm

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