A small, 1100 square foot apartment in Emeryville, California was in need of some creative planning and some rehabilitation. Linda and Peter Benoit worked on the weekends for two years to make this space exactly how they wanted it, and they came up with a spacious, light-filled, unique home that is all theirs.
When the couple bought the apartment, it was dark, cramped, and poorly laid out. They lived in the space for a few months to see how they used each part of the apartment, and once they got used to their new home they began designing and constructing their vision – by themselves, and only on weekends.
The highlight of the apartment is the gorgeous Douglas Fir-clad box that dominates the space. Inside the built-in loft box is a private bedroom. The box also contains a massive bookshelf and plenty of storage – something that is absolutely essential when you live in such a small space. A staircase leads up to the top level of the box, which contains an abundance of clothing storage.
The main living area is open and full of light thanks to a full glass wall. A pass-through window goes from the kitchen to the living area to facilitate passing objects between the two areas. Additional windows cut into the box allow some of the apartment’s natural light to fill the bedroom.
Building up rather than out is the perfect solution to a small space, particularly if you are lucky enough to have 13 foot ceilings like the Benoits. The beautiful wooden box uses wall space that would otherwise be wasted, turning it into a modern and comfortable home.
About architect Peter Benoit:
“Peter Benoit’s work is grounded in his modern arts and crafts approach to architecture. No two projects are the same; he has no single style. Peter’s projects all share common characteristics however— attention to site and surrounding context, attention to materials and details, and careful stewardship of the design and construction process. He is a hands-on architect who delights in working with thoughtful and discerning clients.”