We have always been fascinated by how small spaces can be designed to feel spacious, so the brief to convert a former 40m2 carpenter’s workshop into a comfortable townhouse was an interesting challenge.
The space was already on two floors, but with a footprint of just 20m2, there was only enough floorspace for one small bedroom. Increasing the height of the roof by just 50cm enabled the addition of a mezzanine level, creating space for an extra bed. Instead of dividing the space up with walls and doors, we built two enclosed Douglas fir ‘sleeping pods’ – one on the first floor and one as the mezzanine, so that going to bed feels like climbing into a treehouse.
The ground floor was converted into a lounge, dining area and full-spec kitchen in one open plan space. Alongside the sleeping pod, the first floor comprises a second lounge area, a bespoke moulded bathroom, and a series of bar stools at a high desk cleverly integrated into the bannister, complete with space-saving lamps designed especially for this project.
A warm Scandinavian and yet urban interior scheme is populated with brightly coloured artworks by Jo Niemeyer, characterful ‘hacked’ furniture that we upcycled from chairs and tables found on the street, and fittings built by local craftspeople. Every opportunity for extra storage is maximised from under the beds to under the stairs. New windows, a south-facing skylight and glass panel set into the first floor maximise natural light, and an entirely yellow bathroom ensures a sunny start to every day.
The entire scheme, both internally and externally, has been designed sympathetically to preserve the integrity of the existing building.
Architectural Digest said there was ‘nothing ordinary’ about the Small Townhouse and Archilovers described it as ‘playful’.