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Is college dorm-style living for adults a viable proposal for affordable housing in overcrowded cities? A micro apartment complex in Seoul offers bedroom-sized private units that connect to communal areas, and can be combined into two or more units for couples and families. Songpa Micro Housing by SsD Architecture encourages residents to socialize with each other, fostering a sense of community.

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Many micro apartment complexes tend to be provisional, essentially just offering a place for singles or new transplants to crash at night without ever really feeling like home. One-room apartments packed in together can be cold and impersonal, with residents just passing each other in the hallways. This kind of approach could hinder micro apartments from being seen as a comfortable, long-term housing solution, especially as residents’ life circumstances change over time.

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At Songpa, residents can gather in the ground-floor gallery space that functions as one big living room, as well as basement-level and second-floor communal areas. A micro-theater in the stairway to a cafe offers places to sit and relax. Many of these spaces are connected visually thanks to courtyards, skylights and lots of glass.

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Couples can connect two neighboring units via semi-public open bridges and balconies, and the functions of each apartment shift at the flick of a wrist thanks to operable walls concealing the flip-down beds, tables, kitchens and bathroom facilities.