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No Joke: This 380 Square-Foot Apartment Actually Feels Spacious

 Even at a mere 380 square feet, the Sao Paulo home feels spacious and clutter-free, thanks to a few smart design choices.

Chu kept his design simple, choosing to use pinewood as the unifying element throughout the apartment. To maximize space, the architect relegated the bulk of the apartment’s functional necessities to a single wall, giving it a studio-like appearance. The kitchen and entertainment system are framed by a series of variously sized wood boxes that are also used as built-in storage space. The wood element is echoed on the second floor where a black spiral staircase leads up to a crate-like structure that acts as a sort of entry way to the mezzanine.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Total world land area = 196,940,000 square miles - And because of greed and corruption - and lack of love, and (maybe) stupidity - we gotta settle for 380 square feet.

Comment by Dennis Treybil
Entered on:

 I once lived in a 625 square foot apartment.  One key to this apartment's spacious functionality was a wall closet in the bedroom.  The access space in a walk-in closet is dead room except when you're in there getting something.  The access space for a wall closet doubles as walk-around room for normal (not in-closet) use.

Another was the kitchen.  The kitchen was 8' wide and about 12' long, maybe only 10'.  It had 30" cabinets on both walls leaving a 3' wide path down the middle.  This was wide enough for two people to work in there together comfortably and narrow enough that you did not wear out a pair of shoes while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The pantry and refrigerator faced each other at the dead end of the kitchen.  This was nice.  You could set your grocery bags down on the adjacent cabinet top on both sides and load the pantry and refrigerator without getting out of your tracks.  Yes.  You could stand in one place and do that.  Highly functional.

There were cabinet tops on both sides adjacent the pantry and refrigerator as has already been said.  The cabinets extended about maybe 3' on both sides.  The refrigerator side had a stove there.  The pantry side had the sink.  Yep, the stove and the sink were across from each other.  You could grab a boiler out of the upper cabinets, fill it in the sink, turn around and put it on the stove, again without stepping out of your tracks.

There was more cabinet space between the stove/sink and the entrance.

The dining area was just outside the entrance to the kitchen.

Can you see how this flowed?  Your groceries were in the pantry and refrigerator at the dead end of the kitchen (end opposite entrance).  You could take them out and place them on the cabinet, proceeding to the sink or stove as desired.  From the sink, you could go to the stove.  From the stove, you could place thing on the cabinet top toward the entrance.  When everything was ready, you could move it to the dining area.

Of course, there's no way to have opposing cabinets, or opposing stove/sink or opposing refrigerator/pantry features in this setting.

On the plus side, he has a closet/cabinet next to the refrigerator that could be used as a pantry.

On the minus side, there is no cabinet top on which to work.  You could compensate by using the dining table, with proper protective covers on it.  Of course, the occupant appears to have an exer-cycle where the dining table is shown on the floor plan . . .

This apartment would not do for older folks, due to the stairs.  I would not want to walk up there to take a nap or to sleep at night.

My 625 square foot one-bedroom apartment sort of combined the living area and the dining area to give a feeling of being in a larger space.  The hall (another example of dead space except when you're traveling through it), was about 3 feet long.  It was at the intersection between the bathroom door, the bedroom door and the main living space.  The air handler for the a/c & furnace was located on the dead wall of the hall.

DC Treybil

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