Small Apartment Gets Reorganized With Minimal Structural Interference

A lot of apartments, both old and new, seem to lack a certain understanding of basic layout requirements users have. Take this 50 square meter apartment in Sao Paulo for example. Apart from the fact that it’s pretty small, it also had a badly-planned interior where the bedroom which is the most private of spaces was positioned along the main facade which is facing the street while the social zone was situated on the other side of the floor plan. It was only in 2017 that this finally changed with the help of Vão.

The apartment’s new design focuses on creating a sense of openness and spaciousness without compromising privacyView in gallery
The apartment’s new design focuses on creating a sense of openness and spaciousness without compromising privacy
The remodel included a few changes of layout and it was all done with minimal demolition View in gallery
The remodel included a few changes of layout and it was all done with minimal demolition

The apartment is situated on the top floor of a three-level building. Its owners wanted it most of all to rearrange the interior spaces by basically shifting the bedroom from the street-facing facade to the side facing the garden. This way the private area would benefit from a more quiet environment and a better-suited view. This rearrangement was meant to isolate the sleeping area from the rest of the apartment.

The new organization of the interior spaces is more practical and better adapted to the orientation of the apartmentView in gallery
The new organization of the interior spaces is more practical and better adapted to the orientation of the apartment
The new design places the social areas closest to the street-facing facade and the sleeping area on the opposite sideView in gallery
The new design places the social areas closest to the street-facing facade and the sleeping area on the opposite side

The architects managed to make the transformation almost without demolition by extending an existing wall to shelter the bedroom entirely. The relocation benefited the whole apartment. The new layout and the new proportions of the spaces make more sense than the previous ones and allow the volumes and the natural light which enters each one to be better balanced.

The living room, kitchen and dining area share an open floor plan with access to a balcony View in gallery
The living room, kitchen and dining area share an open floor plan with access to a balcony
The living area has a custom storage unit suspended off the floor with open cubbies for collection records View in gallery
The living area has a custom storage unit suspended off the floor with open cubbies for collection records
There's also a metal shelf for books placed upper on the wall above the media unitView in gallery
There’s also a metal shelf for books placed upper on the wall above the media unit

The new living room is open to the dining area and the kitchen and has direct access to the balcony. Its walls and ceiling are white and the floor is light grey. There’s actually something really cool about this particular section of the apartment. The new arrangement of the spaces allowed for a small additional space to be integrated. It’s at the top, just under the ceiling and it’s a small nook which can be accessed via a metallic ladder.

A metal ladder offers access to a secret space tucked beneath the ceilingView in gallery
A metal ladder offers access to a secret space tucked beneath the ceiling
Even though the apartment is small there was space for a big pantry cabinet with an open cubbyView in gallery
Even though the apartment is small there was space for a big pantry cabinet with an open cubby
The pantry cabinet is well-organized and has multiple doors that open individuallyView in gallery
The pantry cabinet is well-organized and has multiple doors that open individually

In addition to enlarging the living area, the architects also managed to put an emphasis on its openness by furnishing it with metal units, more specifically a 3.5 meter long module which provides storage for electronics and collection items. A long shelf up on the wall hols the owner’s entire book collection. Further more, since there was no need for a laundry room given how the building has one on the ground floor, this made room for a big pantry cabinet. The open cubby built into it is a quirky little detail which makes the apartment’s new interior design even more adorable.

The kitchen is open and neatly packed with storage cabinets and two sleek wall shelvesView in gallery
The kitchen is open and neatly packed with storage cabinets and two sleek wall shelves

The kitchen is small but has plenty of storage inside the white wall-mounted cabinets but also in the compact counter module. Two sleek open shelves ensure a well-organized a=workspace and the big appliances each have their own place. The bathroom sits at the back of the apartment along with the bedroom which is now facing the inner courtyard.

The lower cabinetry in the kitchen is really cool and compactView in gallery
The lower cabinetry in the kitchen is really cool and compact