Space Saving In 'Swiss Army Knife' Apartments


Micro living is not a new concept for residents living in densely populated cities.

In cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York City, the population density is as high as approximately 6,500 people per square kilometre.

With such huge demand for inner city accommodation, micro living has become more prominent now than it has ever been in the past. To overcome this housing mismatch, an ever increasing amount of residents are settling for apartments as small as 25 square metres.

Although these residents may be sacrificing area, they are certainly not sacrificing features.

With efficient space saving designs, these micro apartments are able to provide all the features of a larger sized apartment, in a much smaller yet livable apartment.

In order to overcome the difficulties associated with such tiny living spaces, clever solutions must be adopted to ensure these apartments are able to function in the same way a family home might function.

These so called ‘Swiss army knife’ apartments utilise every space that is at the occupant’s disposal to allow for a comfortable living environment and storage capabilities.

Below we look into five of our favourite space saving solutions to micro living.

Micro Apartment in Hong Kong

Located in Hong Kong, this 32 square metre apartment was designed by owner and designer Gary Chang.

With a smart use of resources, he has managed to transform his childhood home into an apartment with a possible 24 different configurations.

The metamorphic apartment features walls that glide on tracks to reveal a multitude of rooms, among them, a kitchen, guest accommodation, library, dining room, home theatre set up and most luxuriously, a spa bath.


Loft Apartment Camden

British design studio Craft Design, have renovated a former office into an open plan living space in Camden, London. The idea was to design an efficient layout whilst maximising the sense of space.

The apartment has achieved this through the use of a centrally located bathroom, the roof of which doubles as a bedroom.

Loft Apartment Camden

The staircases have been modified into shelving, along with the largest wall in the apartment.

The light colour palette of the room makes the space feel more spacious than it is, and the use of natural lighting nullifies the feeling of being closed in.

Loft Apartment

The Living Cube

Swiss designer Till Konneker has created this cube ideal for the studio apartment.

The clever storage solution can fit a queen sized bed on top of the cube, accessible by ladder, with an internal space underneath the bed accessible by door. This private internal space can be used as either storage or a quiet office work space.

The walls of the living cube features shelving for clothes and footwear, a fold out desk and space to hang a 42 inch television.

Till Konneker wanted an all-in-one solution which could be configured to suit the needs of different individuals.

The Living Cube

Unfolding Apartment

Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects designed this unfolding apartment for a school teachers 40 square metre Manhattan apartment.

The owner hired these two talented architects to pack more density into his small apartment.

The custom cabinetry reveals upon opening, a fold out bed, slide out walls which create a separate room for guests and also features fold out desk on the same sliding wall.

The specially designed couch has been incorporated into the design so that it can easily be turned into single bed for a guest.

Folding Apartment

Loft Studio Apartment
This New York loft apartment is a great example of space saving furniture, making the most out of not quite double height ceilings.

Designed by KSWA, the furniture added to this one room apartment creates a feeling of multiple rooms with the creation of an entrance and ceiling above the kitchen, whilst maintaining its open plan design.

The bed is accessible by a ladder on the side of the compartment, which also adds ample storage space for the occupants to take advantage of.

Show Comments
advertise with us
The Urban Developer is Australia’s largest, most engaged and fastest growing community of property developers and urban development professionals. Connect your business with business and reach out to our partnerships team today.
Article originally posted at: