We have mentioned time and time once more that usually the greenest building is the one that is already standing. The fact is that many cities have loads of present however under-utilized buildings that may very well be renovated and readapted, whether or not for reasonably priced housing or different makes use of.
In London, native design agency Studiomama (previously on Treehugger) transformed a former carpenter’s workshop right into a minimalist, small-scale townhouse of 430 sq. toes (40 sq. meters). Studiomama’s co-founders, Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama, initially meant to remodel the derelict area right into a workspace for his or her agency, however ended up revamping it as a spot for family and friends to remain in at any time when they visited, along with sometimes renting it out.
However, there are a selection of intelligent design concepts right here that might apply to any small area. Nicknamed Small Townhouse, it is a shiny and ethereal area with a lot of pared-down, fashionable particulars, with touches of colourful, recycled whimsy to perk it up. You’ll be able to see a number of the design concepts at work right here by way of this video tour from Never Too Small:
Because the designers clarify, the previous carpenter’s workshop already consisted of two flooring. Nevertheless, with only a footprint of 215 sq. toes (20 sq. meters), there was solely sufficient flooring space for one bed room, and little or no pure gentle coming in on the bottom flooring.
One of many large modifications that the designers first undertook was to boost the peak of the roof by 19.6 inches (50 centimeters), in order that the brand new scheme might then embody a dangling mezzanine. As well as, new home windows had been put in to maximise gentle. As Tolstrup and Mama describe their new design:
“A heat Scandinavian and but city inside scheme is populated with brightly colored artworks by Jo Niemeyer, characterful ‘hacked’ furnishings that we upcycled from chairs and tables discovered on the road, and fittings constructed by native craftspeople. [..] All the scheme, each internally and externally, has been designed sympathetically to protect the integrity of the prevailing constructing.”
Now, upon getting into by way of the doorway on the bottom flooring, one sees a peaceful, clear area that’s higher lit, due to a brand new window that is been put in in the lounge. The opening makes use of frosted glass, so that there is nonetheless some privateness, but additionally extra pure gentle. A sliver of sunshine coming in from the ceiling is definitely one other panel of frosted glass, which allows extra daylight to filter by way of from the second flooring.
The open-plan kitchen’s minimalist look is emphasised by the wood panelling on the cupboards, which conceal the washer and fridge from view. There are loads of daring, hand-made or refurbished items of furnishings right here: the angular wood lamps; the kitchen chairs which had been rescued from the trash heap and redone in neon orange. The kitchen desk is a classic college desk that has been redone with a marble high.
Beneath the steps, the designers have positioned an entryway bench that additionally features as a spot to hold coats. As soon as once more, the model is easy and the colour is daring, to offset the minimalist ambiance.
Shifting on upstairs to the second flooring, there’s one other lounge space right here, populated with two recycled, fire-engine crimson chairs that had been refinished and re-upholstered.
As an alternative of making bedrooms, the designers opted to create cozy, wood-clad “sleeping pods” which are extra space-efficient, but nonetheless presents some privateness to visitors.
Close by, the stair’s handrail right here has been expanded with a plank of wooden on high, reworking it right into a useable floor for books, or having a cup of espresso.
Climbing upstairs to the treehouse-like floating mezzanine, we see yet one more area for sleeping, this time with two beds. Pure gentle filters in by way of a south-facing skylight within the ceiling. As soon as once more, the decor is saved to a naked minimal to emphasise the cleanliness of the area.
Here is a view of the lavatory, which has been painted in an attention-grabbing yellow. The vibrantly coloured surfaces serve to mirror and brighten up the gray London daylight that manages to make its means into this room.
Each little element on this small however fashionable townhouse has been rigorously thought-about in order that area is maximized, explains Tolstrup:
“In small areas, each little sq. inch issues. It’s extra like designing a ship, or a caravan: how do you create snug bedding, how do you create sufficient storage, and comfy seating that does not take up area you have not received. And I believe the compromise is that if it is well-designed, it would not really feel smaller.”
To see extra, you possibly can try the designers’ earlier renovation reworking a 139-square-foot cab office into a modern micro-apartment, or go to Studiomama.