Chinese architectural firm TOWOdesign recently transformed a tiny apartment in central Shanghai into a unique smart home by incorporating a series of uniquely designed "function boxes". Dubbed Ten Degrees, the 48 sqm ( 516.7 sq ft) apartment features four function boxes that have been rotated by ten degrees (hence its name), to allow for a natural flow between the living zones, without blocking off space or making the home feel small.

"With one living room, one bedroom, one kitchen and one bathroom, this tiny space inevitably restrains the dwellers' daily life," says TOWOdesign. "So the core transform objective this time was to enlarge its limited space."

To this end, TOWOdesign integrated four bespoke function boxes into the home, which make up the kitchen, bathroom, entertaining and sleeping quarters. Each function box provides the home with all of the requirements for comfortable and practical living, with the added benefit of being smart and aesthetically pleasing.

"However, [the use of] function boxes bring about new problems," says TOWOdesign. "The multi media box in the living room hinders the owners' path into this room and splits the space. To deal with this issue, we rotated all the function boxes by 10 degrees. After the rotation, the vision and streamline of the space became smooth and unblocked. The connections between the function boxes also combine into an integrated space, enlarging the space and giving the apartment its name, Ten Degrees."

Each function box is full of features such as hidden cabinets, foldaway furniture and ample storage. For example, the kitchen box adjoins the private bathroom box and features a fold away dining table and a hidden entrance to the bathroom, which is complete with shower, basin and toilet.

The sleeping quarters has been strategically elevated, allowing for all of the space below to be filled with hidden storage and cupboards, including beneath both sets of stairs which sit on either side of the elevated queen bed. A washing machine is hidden within the cabinetry of the media box and floor to ceiling white cabinets are built into the corridor wall opposite the bedroom box, providing plenty of wardrobe space, while almost disappearing into the streamline walls of the home.

There's also a series of mirrors strategically positioned throughout the apartment, offering the illusion of a larger space, while also eliminating the possibility to see your own reflection when in the bedroom; addressing a traditional Chinese taboo.

"A large amount of cabinets, drawers and baffles are hidden within the function boxes, to satisfy the need for storage, making the daily life look neat," says TOWOdesign. "The original beams and columns are kept bare and uncovered, forming a contrast of the old and the new and making the alteration from the ten degree rotation all the more interesting. This is the Ten Degrees apartment, it's small, yet in a wonderful way."

Take a peek inside the smart Ten Degrees apartment by TOWOdesign in the following video.

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