Just a few weeks after the NSW Planning ministry set the minimum size of new apartments at 35 sqm, the Houses magazine award for the Best Apartment  2015 has gone to a 27 sqm renovation in Sydney’s Darlinghurst.

Reconfigured with sliding doors and hidden rooms, it’s the amazingly clever use of space and storage in dividers  that makes this Brad Swartz designed tiny apartment a lot more than a bedsit.    With pressure on inner-city living space increasing, this shows what can be done with a little imagination … OK, a lot of imagination.

“The Darlinghurst Apartment reconfigures a twenty-seven-square-metre inner-city studio apartment into a fully functional home for a couple,” says the judges’ citation. “The design cleverly incorporates a small bedroom, a laundry and ample storage into the incredibly tight floor space. Each element of the design has been carefully considered to maximize storage and functionality.

“A deceptively simple central joinery element contains sliding doors, flaps and hatches to conceal and reveal the bedroom, a wine rack, a fold-down desk, a television and general storage. Elements are designed for flexibility of use: the step to the bedroom doubles as a seat and storage element; the kitchen drying rack doubles as crockery storage.

“The private zones of the apartment are skilfully delineated from the living area by a step and sliding door to provide a sense of seclusion to each of these spaces despite their close proximity. The material palette is purposely restrained and mirrors are sparsely but effectively used to exaggerate the feeling of spaciousness. This project is an excellent example of what a thoughtful designer can achieve within a very small space and with a very tight budget.”


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