John MacPeek has views of the tops of Barcelona buildings and sunlight streams from almost all sides into his apartment. Are these perks enough to put up with a 25-square-meter living space (270 square feet) living space? Thanks to some space-economizing improvements to what he said was "basically an oversized closet" when he first saw it, MacPeek thinks so.
Fair Companies recently profiled MacPeek's space and some of its design elements. The first thing MacPeek did when he acquired the space was enlist the help of architect Lola Domènech:
Domènech began plans to take down the main wall and replace it with a 6-meter-long (20 foot long) folding glass door that allows in light and air to provide passive solar heating and cooling (the shutters can close it off completely in summer to prevent overheating).
Domènech then began to design features to invade every available space. She created a walk-through shower with a curtain on one side to protect the toilet and a see-through glass door to close it off from the rest of the apartment (yet let in nice light and showering views). Indoor/outdoor, slatted wooden floors double as a drain and zinc roofing material lines the walls; the water-proofed materials mean that now, nearly a decade since it was constructed, the shower still looks nearly new.
To make the most of the tiny kitchen, MacPeek uses a table that folds closed against the wall as an ideal breakfast nook (complete with folding chairs for up to 3 people). He has conventionally-sized appliances and even a small dishwasher, but he realized there was no way he would fit a full-sized “American-style” refrigerator in the space. So he installed a half-size “European-style” refrigerator/freezer and next to it, a refrigerator in a drawer.
Watch the full tour of the apartment:
MacPeek explains that everything in the apartment was designed with multiple purposes to make the best use of the space. For example, what is his bedroom at night, becomes his living room during the day.
Fair Companies reports MacPeek saying having a small space can be an advantage from a simplicity standpoint.
“If you have so much space where you're constantly putting stuff away when you open those cupboards you end up finding a lot of junk basically," he said.