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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.