When Eric Schneider bought his 450-square-foot Manhattan apartment for $235,000, it only had two rooms (aside from the bathroom and closet): a rectangular living space and a corner kitchen. With the help of a magical unfolding cabinet, Schneider has doubled his number of rooms without increasing clutter or major architectural reconstruction.
Here is Schneider’s “tiny origami” apartment made livable by Normal Projects architects:
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The morphing cabinet had to be custom built and while it packs in a lot — even kitchen storage and lighting for the room — Chen warns it’s not about hiding stuff, but about strategically creating division and overlap.
“It’s partly partitioning the space, it’s partly making its interior available and its partly also creating lots of different areas of overlap where you get like a living area and a bed area and a dining area and a lounge area and they’re not necessarily separate but they’re sort of leaking into one another in a way.”
The metal accents on the cabinet serves not only as decoration, but as a more streamlined handle. And the architects use the depth of the cabinet to provide shelving on either side for kitchen storage and books. Also interesting, the design team took an unconventional approach to the refrigerator, which usually take up the largest space of a single item in a kitchen. They made a horizontal version that resides under the bar countertop with two cabinet doors.
The cost of this whole renovation — including Schneider’s custom-built cabinet, kitchen remodel (including dishes), bathroom renovation and furniture – cost $70,000.