Managing Micro Spaces: Space-Saving Room in a Room



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How do you make a space that’s the size of an average bedroom accommodate an entire apartment? If there’s vertical space available, the answer is nearly always to build up, and that’s exactly what Berlin studio Spamroom did for this tiny apartment. The creation of a built-in central unit housing a kitchen, bathroom and mezzanine makes the 226-square-foot space feel surprisingly comfortable and functional.

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Visually expanding the available space with white paint and pale pine finishes, the architects blended modern elements with pre-existing historic features in the early 1900s building within Berlin’s Moabit district. Previous renovations attempted to enclose private rooms within the apartment, resulting in a space that felt cramped. The architects gutted the room and restored the original parquet floor.

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Now, a nearly-invisible narrow white staircase leads to a sleeping loft on top of the freestanding pine structure, leaving the rest of the room open for living space. A wardrobe at the base of the stairs matches the look of the central unit for a cohesive feel throughout the space.

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The built-in room-within-a-room hides a bathroom and separates a kitchenette from the entrance hall. It’s also packed with storage space, eliminating the need for a lot of freestanding furniture items like dressers and bookcases. The result is clean and minimalist, devoid even of cabinet hardware, tricking the eye into believing the apartment is larger than it really is.

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