Michelle Tennant and Andy Knight had a few things on their wish list for their new home: a large kitchen, a spacious bathtub, a home theater, and a gym. That wouldn’t be a problem in many suburban houses, but the couple wanted to live in the Central district of Hong Kong. They ended up with a 309-square-foot micro-apartment, but with the help of Laab architects, they were able to cram everything in by making it transformable.
Prices are so high in the area that the transformation cost about the same as it would have to purchase an apartment with only 30 to 50 more square feet, according to the firm. Instead, Laab designed it so each area has multiple functions. The bathroom has four configurations: one with just the bathtub, another with the bathtub separate from the sink, so someone can bathe in privacy, a third with a second tier for TV watching, and finally a guest bedroom setup. “Achieving this level of flexibility in this area and others required over 30 design iterations and large amounts of experimentation,” according to Laab. The apartment also has smart features, like app-controlled Hue lights and an August smart lock for keyless entry.
You can see in the video how some of the transformations take place. Storage shelves lower from the ceiling, floor panels flip up, walls slide out, and bookcases swing open. When you think about it, it makes sense. When the bathtub is sitting empty, why not cover it up with a cushion and turn it into a couch?
It’s not just the couple that lives in the 309-square-foot space, though. They have three cats: Banoffee, Dumpling, and Tuxedo. Laab also designed with them in mind, including a catwalk around the ceiling, cat ladder, hidden litter box under the bathroom sink, food bowls stowed in the kitchen cabinets, and a hidey hole, so they can get away from their owners (and each other).