Houzz Tour: A Tiny Flat With Ingenious Small Space Solutions
With its clever compact kitchen and teeny utility cupboard, this one-bed flat is bigger than the sum of its parts
The house-commune on Gogol Boulevard in Moscow is a legendary piece of constructivist architecture, designed and built between 1929 and 1931 by a group of architects under the leadership of Moisei Ginzburg.
This home is in fact an adapted cell apartment. Its owner is well-versed in art and modern design and moved here because of his interest in the building’s history. Therefore, when planning the renovation, architect Alireza Nemati respected the ideas of the original builders, but adapted the space to meet modern needs.
The renovation started from scratch, though Nemati did, whenever possible, select finishes appropriate to the period when the home was built, which made it more like a restoration project.
The staircase structure is made of wood in accordance with Ginzburg’s original drawings. The walls are painted white to give a sense of space and openness.
Walls painted in White, Tikkurila.
In the hallway, there’s only room for a small coat rack, while the main storage is hidden under the staircase in the form of pull-out sections, which the architect considers to be the best solution for a small area.
The bookcase, for example, had to be supported by a stainless-steel frame, because the walls would not have been able to withstand the load.
Nemati was also faced with having to totally redo the water and heating systems.
“The biggest challenge was handling all the nuances associated with the sewage pipes. These issues had to be resolved with the local housing and communal authorities and with the neighbours, which took a lot of time,” he says.
Firstly, the extra seats are great to have when there are guests, and this keeps them out of the way.
Secondly, the bookcase is wider than the space between the window and the wall, so it would otherwise have partially covered the glass.
Browse folding chairs and other compact seats in the Houzz Shop
The constructivist architects who designed this building would probably never have guessed that future tenants would be preparing meals inside their own flats – originally, all residents were expected to use communal facilities. As a result, the kitchen setup was another challenge for Nemati.
The kitchen he came up with is designed like a spaceship cabin: every inch was thought out and measured. Hidden behind folding doors, it includes dedicated storage for every need, from a ventilated box for vegetables to a narrow drawer to hold household chemicals. A refrigerator and pull-out table are hidden under the worktop.
Finding an extractor hood of the right size wasn’t easy, so the architect designed that himself, too. It was made through a 3D-printing technology and metal forming. He fitted it with a powerful but compact and silent motor.
Lamp, Fritz Hansen.
There’s also a cupboard here with a hidden sliding rail, which can be used to put up a curtain to separate the bedroom and shower room from the living room, for cosiness and privacy.
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