A tiny public housing flat in Singapore is transformed into a modern micro-apartment thanks to clever storage and spatial arrangements by local architecture studio Spacedge.
‘When I design,’ says William Chan, founder and lead architect at the Singapore-based studio, Spacedge Designs, ‘I like to erase the previous layout and plan the new space based on the homeowner’s priorities.’
It’s an approach seen to best effect in this 47 sq m public housing flat in Singapore’s Bukit Batok neighbourhood, for which the client, a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist and LEGO afficionado, gave Chan free creative rein.
Given the size of the flat, Chan decided to pare down the interiors, replacing bedrooms and demarcations with a series of low maintenance, laminate cuboid cabinets that hide storage areas for kitchen, wardrobe, fridge and washing machine, while leaving functional spaces such as the shower and bed completely open.
‘I wanted a continuous and organised flow of a continuous open space with no obstructing walls and doors. Rather than having individual rooms, this was, I thought, the ideal solution for a single occupant in a small flat.’
The severity of the design is offset by surprising moments, such as a neon orange wall disc, a feng shui diktat; and a slender wall-to-wall blue metal light tube that doubles as an art installation. ‘I don’t design more than what is required and that, to me, reflects sustainable design.’
Chan’s greatest sleight of hand, though, is a bijou gallery, hidden behind a sliding cupboard and kitted out with backlit shelving, for the owner’s prized collection of Lego Architecture Series.
For Chan, who is currently working on a co-living project in Singapore and a hotel in China, this project has been a timely opportunity to challenge what he describes as the impersonality and rigidity of typical layouts, particularly in public housing flats.
‘Everything from the layout, design, and furniture to the lighting, homeware and artwork have been carefully assessed and curated, taking into account the owner’s specific needs in terms of his lifestyle and day-to-day use of the home.’