Architecture

Multi-functional space-saving loft squeezed into small San Francisco condo

The entire Domino Loft condo covers 500 sq ft (46 sq m)
The entire Domino Loft condo covers 500 sq ft (46 sq m)
View 13 Images
The entire Domino Loft condo covers 500 sq ft (46 sq m)
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The entire Domino Loft condo covers 500 sq ft (46 sq m)
The underside of the fold-down bed is a dry-erase board
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The underside of the fold-down bed is a dry-erase board
The master sleeping area doubles as a home cinema seating space
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The master sleeping area doubles as a home cinema seating space
A foldable table can be used at mealtimes, before being collapsed for storage
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A foldable table can be used at mealtimes, before being collapsed for storage
The table can also be used as part of a home office setup
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The table can also be used as part of a home office setup
The upper and lower levels can be used as different spaces
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The upper and lower levels can be used as different spaces
The dry-erase board wall folds down to provide a second bed
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The dry-erase board wall folds down to provide a second bed
When deployed, the fold-down bed fills the lower-level space below the master sleeping area
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When deployed, the fold-down bed fills the lower-level space below the master sleeping area
The lower level of the unit serves as a closet
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The lower level of the unit serves as a closet
The master sleeping space is accessed via a sliding library ladder
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The master sleeping space is accessed via a sliding library ladder
When not in use, the ladder can be slid out of the way
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When not in use, the ladder can be slid out of the way
There are a variety of different spaces for different types of clothing
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There are a variety of different spaces for different types of clothing
A projector is used to display content on a wall opposite the master sleeping space
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A projector is used to display content on a wall opposite the master sleeping space

If you don't have a lot of space to work with when designing an apartment, you have to be creative. Architecture firm ICOSA has certainly done that with its Domino Loft. A multi-functional space in a small condo combines a bedroom, a guest bed, a dining space, a work area and a closet.

The Domino Loft is the latest in a number of recent apartment builds that employ clever design and innovative features to make the most of limited space. Among them are the 538-sq ft (50-sq m) All I Own House, the 390-sq ft (36-sq m) 5:1 Apartment and the 226-sq ft (21-sq m) Micro-Apartment Moabit.

Located in the US city of San Francisco, the entire Domino Loft condo covers just 500 sq ft (46 sq m). While the kitchen and bathroom are in adjacent rooms, the rest of its functions are squeezed into one tiny remaining space.

The small amount of space might suggest that the options for the room were also limited, but design principle at ICOSA Charles Irby tells Gizmag that the firm actually considered about 10 different design strategies, with a number of different configurations for each. Scores for design effectiveness were calculated for each approach and, ultimately, a "loft approach" won out over bolder options that included features like drop-down ceiling panels and movable walls.

The master sleeping space is accessed via a sliding library ladder
The master sleeping space is accessed via a sliding library ladder

The fixtures for the space were all custom-designed and pre-fabricated. Components including concrete panels, wooden slats, metalwork and custom cabinetry were pre-formed at an Oakland, CA, workshop, before being assembled on-site.

The master bed is raised up on top of the room's main unit and is accessed via a sliding library ladder. The ladder is also used to access storage and can be slid out of the way when not in use. The master sleeping space doubles as a home theater seating area, with the mattress able to be folded up into a sofa position and a projector used to display content on the wall opposite.

Irby says the ICOSA team managed to create the thinnest and lightest fold-down bed that any of the team-members had seen, using an ultra-thin custom-fabricated aluminum frame with gas springs. When deployed, the bed fills the lower-level space below the master sleeping area. In its upright position, its underside functions as dry-erase board.

The dry-erase board wall folds down to provide a second bed
The dry-erase board wall folds down to provide a second bed

This, in turn, forms one of the walls, and a useful feature, of the dining/office area. Here, there is a standing desk with a wall-mounted screen for use when working and a foldable table that can be used at mealtimes, before being collapsed for storage.

Part of the main unit forms a bench, for residents to sit when eating. The bench has built-in storage space and also functions as a platform for people to use when putting on their shoes. Elsewhere, the lower level of the unit serves as a closet, with a variety of spaces for different types of clothing.

The Domino Loft project took over year to complete, primarily due to working through the potential design strategies, and was completed in November 2015.

Source: ICOSA

5 comments
Robert Walther
The ladder has its own room and a full window. I do not get this at all.
DavidB
No images of the two most important rooms in any living space. :/
Fairly Reasoner
No, thank you.
Ruth Vallejos
While the bed/office/dining space cube is clever, I have to wonder: with smaller spaces in high demand and lofts becoming more prevalent, are we going to see the resurgence of the chamber pot? Because - dang it - we aren't all under 40, and some of us have to scamper to the restroom more than once a night.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really clever.
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