The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
April 8, 2008

Win a trip to Flosten Paradise

All this talk of budget entry-level apartments has got me thinking: what’s the best small apartment you know of? Tempted as I am (not) by the prospect of living forever in a cube, I can none-the-less recognise genius in small apartment design when I see it.

korbendallas3.jpg

My first pick would have to be the apartment of Korben Dallas in Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element”, where he lives in a (presumably) budget studio apartment somewhere on the mid-levels. But it has several good design features, apart from the tasteful monochrome colourscheme. Although only about 2-3m wide, and possibly stretching out to 5m long, giving a positively luxurious max 15m2 of internal space, it also features built in mailbox, coffee machine, slide-away bed, and an advanced form of broadband.

korbendallas1.jpg

It also features the novel use of interfloor space with an autowash shower doubling in the same space as a fridge. Note: neither autowash nor fridge are a good place for storage of unexpected visitors. Nor, for that matter, is the slideaway bed, although that does self seal to avoid bedbug infestations.

autowash.jpg

See, that’s what we need in our Columbards, clever design! It also has a distinct advantage, in that despite being situated on the edge of a busy highway, you can still get good Chinese takeaway delivered straight to your window.

hongkongdiner2.jpg

Now that’s got to be an advantage when the crime rate starts going up, and the streets are too mean to walk down. However, the same old problem exists here as in any 15m2 apartment: no real room for furniture, and when you’ve got company: three’s a crowd.

fullflat.jpg

artandmylife
8 - 04 - 08

How about this. Ok its Oprah and I am NOT sure about the outcome but its 319sq feet and livable. http://www.oprah.com/foodhome/home/decorating/slide/20070220/decor_20070220_350_101.jhtml

Maximus
8 - 04 - 08

319 sq feet? That’s a positively massive 29.63 m2 ! But the cat bathroom was a stroke of genius…

artandmylife
8 - 04 - 08

I know its not an apartment (so this comment is “off-brand”) but a friend in the US was considering buying one of these http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/houses.htm. The smallest is 70sq. ft. It makes you think about the vast spaces of those “McMansions” – they are simply unsustainably BIG. Mind you I don’t know how our family of 5 would fit in a ‘tiny house’, although there might be less housework.

Frank
8 - 04 - 08

Art: re your oprah home: i don’t think Bruce Willis would go for the chandalier… or if he did, he’d probably just shoot it. But i do like the tumbleweed houses – can’t quite believe they have a loft too – i guess it is like what Ian Cassells is trying for with his “affordable homes”. It’s be interesting to see a plan of those.

Venture
8 - 04 - 08

http://www.columbard.co.nz/

My vote

Maximus
8 - 04 - 08

Really? Have you stayed in there? For more than one night? Could you really live there? Cos I was getting the impression that you were a big-house-on-top-of-a-hill type person.
But is this: http://www.columbard.co.nz/images/3DplanSS.pdf – liveable for more than one night at a time?

Venture
8 - 04 - 08

Oh I love my big house but there’s nothing wrong with these either.

Average stay is 8 months so it can’t be all bad.

V

jayseatee
9 - 04 - 08

I have lived in two flats that were 20 square metres. Both featured galley kitchens of about 1.5 metres long, with small refrigerators. One was really great because they acknowledged that proper storage was needed so it had a very large walk in closet (at least 5 sq m). It took away from the living space, but I had very little furniture anyway. It had a murphy bed that swung out of a second closet.

In both cases I moved out not because I didn’t like the apartment but I didn’t like living by myself.

Frank
10 - 04 - 08

Venture – 8 months? I don’t believe that. It’s smaller than a hotel room, and i think its about as expensive – you’d have to be nuts to live there for that long. Perhaps the Columbard meant an average of 8 days?

And Jayseatee? 20 metres – now you’re skiting. That’s huge ! You could swing a whole skunk in there. And, ummm, what’s a murphy bed?

Meanwhile, if you really want small, check this out:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article942874.ece

“THIS tiny office is perfect for someone who wants to drastically downsize.
Aptly named Tardis House, the brick built cube with just a door and a perspex roof is on the market for offers in the region of 19,950. The 44 sq ft building is in Truro, Cornwall.”

Note: 44 sq ft is about 4 square metres.

rondo
10 - 04 - 08

there’s the twee: http://ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com/saving-space-tips.html

the “same here” http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com/outlook/tinyapartments.html

and of course:

http://gawker.com/news/real-estate/only-295-square-feet-and-yet-so-much-to-hate-246768.php
(note the gawker domestic dispute index calculator)

Poindexter77
23 - 05 - 08

A Murphy bed is a bed that folds down from a wall :)

Armoredavian
6 - 09 - 08

*lmao* I don’t know about you but if an apartment like that is cheap, I could definitly tolerate it. I’m not bothered by enclosed spaces, unless there’s a fire.

Armoredavian
6 - 09 - 08

Oops sorry I forgot to mention it wouldn’t be too bad for singles and college students.