Barcelona Apartment Packs a Whole House Into 258 Square Feet

By Sally Schneider

A penthouse resembling a giant puzzle box, with compartments filled with a tiny kitchen, a bathroom, and more



After I posted Gary Chang's 344-square-foot Hong Kong apartment, I thought I'd pretty much seen the pinnacle of morphing possibilities for TINY. Recently, when I found myself riveted by this video of photographer Christian Schallert's 258-square-foot Barcelona apartment (approximately 11 feet by 23 feet): a former pigeon loft re-envisioned by designer Barbara Appolloni. (Check out the "before" shots in the beginning!) I've seen this clever configuration of cubes likened to Legos, but I find the image misleading. This completely built-in, every-need-and-square-inch-considered space is like one of those Chinese puzzle boxes that suddenly open to reveal hidden chambers; everything is hidden behind walls until Schallert wants to access it. It is an "action apartment", given great charm by the stunning view and penthouse feel.

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Schallert says he was inspired by his childhood summer spent by a lake and the small, wonderfully designed boats he saw. Japan was another influence. Says Schallert:

At the end of the day, what do you really need for living? You need a nice comfortable mattress and nice clean sheets, running water, shower and a stove to cook on...You don't need to much stuff.

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This post also appears on The Improvised Life.
Images: Better Living Through Design

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/barcelona-apartment-packs-a-whole-house-into-258-square-feet/238494/