You will not believe it until you see it.
Staying compact – and getting to do this in a comfortable way – is not easy. And certainly not for everyone. Because, while someone is better off living with things you either need or love than others, it’s not going to happen that everyone needs both furniture and space to make sure you can live, eat, work, relax and sleep, no matter how many square meters you live on.
In addition, all things that are to be kept within the four walls of the house, whether books, music, clothes or suitcases and Christmas decorations.
Many in small space
When many struggle to accommodate assets, food and comfort in a Norwegian two or three-year period, it becomes even harder to believe that it may be true when you read the story of Chinese Gary Chang, who lives and lives on barely 32 m2.
Chang, an architect of occupation, has – unbelievably enough – designed and planned his 31.9 m2 apartment so that it can be moved and folded around to function as a whole 24 different rooms.
– Chang, 46, has even stayed in the apartment since he was barely 14 years old, explains the interior and design website Homedsgn.com.
The architect then lived with his parents and three (!) younger sisters. Like most of the 370 residential units in the 17 storey high building, Chang’s family apartment was also divided into several minimal rooms. In this case: Three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and once. When one bedroom was rented to a tenant, Chang even slept on a sofa bed in the hallway.
After the parents moved to a somewhat larger apartment several years ago now, Chang has experimented with different floor plans and ways to live in the small apartment.
Dreamed about tearing walls
The solution the creative architect came up with was to tear off most of the walls in the home, located in the middle of the busy Sai Wan Ho district of Hong Kong.
– Chang admits having dreamed of tearing those walls since he was 14, explains the New York Times newspaper.
– Already a teenager, he designed floor plans for a new and better family home.
And Rome was not built in one day. To date, the architect has built about 4 times.
But this time it’s different, Chang explains.
– The last renovation is also the Chang is most pleased with himself, explains the newspaper.
– The renovation took a good year and cost a lot of money. But the remark, it speaks for itself.
To accommodate all that he needed to live in a healthy and functioning way – 32m2 – made Chang rejuvenate when it came to the design and layout of the small apartment.
The solution became loose walls, which are attached to steel rails in the ceiling.
– They almost look like they float one centimeter or two above the black granite floor, which almost has a mirror-like surface, explains the New York Times.
– When moved around, the apartment is transformed into all sorts of rooms, such as kitchen, library, laundry room, walk-in wardrobe, living room, dining room and even a bar. The kitchen sink has a hinge so it can be folded up against the wall when not in use and the cooking plates on the stove are first visible after pushing the wall slightly forward.
The wall design, however, makes acoustics and sound not quite as home of everyone else.
– When Chang has guests visiting, those who want to talk on the phone must do this in the shower, explains the newspaper.
– Or “phone kiosk” as he calls it.
Behind a movable wall with bookshelves from wall to ceiling, the extraordinary Duravit bath conceals. A glass shower also serves as a steam room. The kitchen can be transformed into a video game room with just a few clever grips and by opening and sliding to side cabinet doors, you find out how incredibly much the architect has managed to accommodate of personal belongings in his very limited space.
– The bed is hidden behind a couch during the day, explains the website Homedsgn.
– I want everything here to be about mobility, flexibility and the ability to make the most of their home.
Will inspire better living conditions
Not only for his own pleasure, Chang talks to the New York Times about how he hopes to be able to accomplish something and inspire others with his flexible and multifunctional housing.
In the last 10 years, the population in Hong Kong has grown by almost half a million people, who all need space to live. In addition, the reporting of domestic violence increased by almost 50% in the years between 2003 and 2007, some social workers in the city partly believed to be due to the extreme lack of space existing today in the city.
– It’s a big problem, explains Chang to the newspaper.
– When people get rid of each other over the lack of space. People feel trapped and claustrophobic. We need to find better solutions to living together in a small space.
An unfinished experiment
On the question, if he is now looking at his project as finished, after even having published the book “My 32m2 Apartment: A 30-Year Transformation” recently, is still a little skeptical.
– I look at my home as an ongoing experiment, explains the architect.
It would be cheaper to buy a new and bigger apartment, but where is the fun in it?