Architect Brad Swartz discusses his winning tiny home formula
Earlierthis month, Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 HousesAwards for Best Apartment or Unit for his project in Darlinghurst,Sydney. The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformedinto a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates twoat a cost of just AUD$54,000 (approx. US$39,130) to complete.
The tinyapartment designed by Swartz features a snug double bedroom, open living with Europeankitchen and laundry, bathroom, storage space, multi-purpose zones,clean lines, and lots of natural light.
"Thematerial palette is purposely restrained and mirrors are sparsely buteffectively used to exaggerate the feeling of spaciousness," commented the 2015 Houses Awards Jury. "This project is anexcellent example of what a thoughtful designer can achieve within avery small space and with a very tight budget."
Swartzreconfigured what was originally just a single-room apartment toincorporate two distinct zones. The "private" zone wasdesigned to accommodate the bathroom and bedroom areas, while and the"public" zone was created to include all aspects ofeveryday living, including kitchen, study, storage and enough roomfor entertaining or relaxing.
Adoptinga minimalist approach, Swartz's design features pragmatic furnishingsthat fit together like Tetris pieces and seem to disappear into thesurrounding white lines. The multi-purpose wall conceals the entranceto the bedroom, along with a flat screen TV, bookshelf, a verticalwine rack and a fold-down desk. These skillfully hidden everydayelements gives the home an illusion of having more interior space andis complimented with an abundance of natural light.
Gizmaggot the chance to interview Swartz about this clever tiny home designand his love for working with tiny spaces. Here's what he had to say:
Whatinspired the original design for the apartment?
Swartz: Iwas inspired by contemporary Japanese architecture, in particularSANAA’s (an Architecture Firm) "Plum Grove" house, where lotsof small rooms are interconnected.
Whatwere your challenges in completing the apartment?
Swartz: Thesize was a constant challenge. We wanted the apartment to functionlike a one-bedroom apartment twice its size. This meant we tested manydesign options before settling on a final option.
Canyou describe the home's space saving furnishings?
Swartz: Wherever possible we gave items multiple functions. For example, a stepto the bedroom creates a threshold between private and public, becomes a seat when guests are over, and conceals a shoe drawer.Similarly, the cupboard over the sink hides a dish rack, whichdoubles as crockery storage.
Whatare the sustainable features of the home?
Swartz: Beingsmall and close to the city, this apartment facilitates a sustainablelifestyle; proving luxuries don’t need to be sacrificed to preventurban sprawl. Occupants can walk to work, shops, parks, pools,eliminating the need to own a car. Furthermore, the unit is easy toheat and relies on natural ventilation to cool.
Whatare your favorite design features of the home?
Swartz: Thewine rack and the small internal window between the living and andbedroom.
Whatdo you love about working with tiny spaces?
Swartz: Itmakes architecture and design accessible to everyone.
Whatcan we expect to see from you in the future?
Swartz: Morearchitecture that facilitates and inspires a good life.