For more than a decade, I have written short fictions about people living in small spaces: a couple who live on their balcony; a street person who makes a home in a doorway, for example. My stories, and plans for more, are filled with the ingenuity required to live in such tight spots. But nothing I had fantasized about prepared me for the real-life inventiveness of Gary Chang in Hong Kong as told in this fascinating piece from the New York Times.
Chang has managed to cram 24 different floor plans into his tiny 344 square foot apartment.
Using shifting wall units suspended from steel tracks bolted into the ceiling, the apartment becomes all manner of spaces — kitchen, library, laundry room, dressing room, a lounge with a hammock, an enclosed dining area and a wet bar.
In the last two decades, he has renovated four times, on progressively bigger budgets as his company, Edge Design Institute, has grown. His latest effort, which took a year and cost just over $218,000, he calls the “Domestic Transformer.”
Incredible ingenuity. I couldn’t possibly live in it, but I appreciate the design skills that have brought it about.
First published: January 2009