Every renovation project has its challenges. Usually they have to do with picking the right style, the right color palette or the right layout for a space but what can you do when you can’t change the layout. In that case you have to work with what you have. This is what the team at Xue Jin Architecture Network did when they remodeled this apartment in Chongqing, China.
Because pretty much all the walls inside the apartment were load-bearing elements, the architects were forced to keep them in place and weren’t allowed to dismantle any. They still had to modify the layout of the apartment though and that was tricky. Their clients wanted the apartment to become more comfortable, more spacious as well as brighter and they wanted the kitchen and the bathroom to be relocated. They wanted the ventilation to be improved throughout the apartment.
To overcome these challenges, the architects focused on opening up the spaces by removing any partitions that weren’t load-bearing walls and by combining the functions to achieve an increase space-efficiency and a more bright and spacious feel throughout. The new design ensures a seamless transition between the entryway, the living room, the kitchen and the dining area. The wall that separates the living area from the balcony now also has a large circular hole cut into it which is a pretty cool design feature.
In the living area, a custom-designed wall unit combines several different elements such as a sofa, a desk and a storage cabinet. It’s a hybrid piece which allows this space to be flexible and to serve multiple purposes. Also, the balcony and the dining area are quirky spaces which let lots of natural into the apartment through the large windows but which also look and feel really cozy.
The sleeping area is a bit unusual too. Instead of creating two separate but very small bedrooms, the architects designed this large wooden platform able to incorporate two beds and plenty of storage underneath. As far as the new bathroom is concerned, it’s been relocated to where the kitchen used to be and has a tub embedded into a platform with a cozy built-in seating nook.