This is a 10-year-old apartment with two storeys and the total area of it is about 55 m2. It was first used as an office and once converted into a living unit for a single person. The new owners, our clients, are a young couple with a one-year-old child. The 55m2 living space in the central area of Taipei City might be luxury for a single occupant, but for a three-member family, this is still a miniature apartment. In the renovation project, the baby's growth should be especially taken into consideration for it would change the needs of the family a lot in the next 10 years.
The division of the functions in the apartment is quite simple. On the vertical arrangement, the upper layer is for private spaces, and the lower is for communal spaces. On the horizontal partition, except for the entrance and the balconies, the plan of each floor is roughly a rectangle of about 3.6m x 7.2m. So naturally, each floor plan could be divided into two main square areas and further, subdivided into different functions by the 7 sliding doors. Therefore, when all sliding doors in the apartment are opened, the spaces are completely open and continuous. The walkways connecting the spaces are also given their own functions, so no aisle space is wasted. However, in some individual using states, each area could be separated by the sliding doors, reducing interference to each other. In addition, in hot summer, these sliding doors can also adjust the switch state to save the use of air-conditioning.
On the first floor, half of the oblong plan is a square space, used as the living and dining room; the other half, accessed from the entrance, contains a long kitchen, bathroom, and a staircase which not only connects the two floors but is also the main storage space of this apartment. It includes three drawers and a closet that could be easily accessed from and walkway of the kitchen, a deep storage cabinet that could be opened from the landing, and one storage room that could be accessed from the living room by sliding open the movable wall. On the second floor, half of the rectangle is the bedroom for the parents, and the walkway is converted to the study of the family. Because there are two main girders passing through the top and the bottom beside the high-ceilinged entrance, we pave wooden flooring on the lower one for sitting. The remaining space of this storey is just right for a large single mattress and would be used as the baby’s future bedroom. On the upper floor, the staircase is surrounded by wardrobes and bookcases, and three sliding doors can be used to change space divisions for different needs.
Since the two owners are engineers who often work from home, the long study and its attached function allow the apartment to have a home studio. Considering that as the baby grows up, there might be a need for independent room for his studying, we have reserved a sliding door between the bookcases to divide the study room into two zones when an independent kid’s room is needed in the future. The sliding doors allow each member to have an undisturbed corner when they need personal space, while at other times the spaces are shared by the family to giving this tiny apartment greater living experience.