40 m2 in Tel Aviv | SFARO

Tel Aviv

This is a small apartment that was renovated to adapt to a modern lifestyle. It included a brand new kitchen, which was completely missing before. All the services are contained within one volume while the space pinwheels around it. The double corridor makes the space seem larger than it really is.


Shags of New York City; 1800s and 1900s tenements

Popilation of U.S. big cities grew tremendous in late 1800s and early 1900s, caused by urbanization, industrialization and immigration. Jobs in industry increased by 400 percent from 1880 to 1920 while 14 million people immigrated to U.S. in the same period.

In New York city, the population doubled every decade from 1800 to 1880. To accomodate this growing population, buildings that had once been single-family dwelliing were increasingly dividet into multiple living spaces. These were the first tenements, and in 1860s the first tenements were built specially to house large numbers of poor families.

Typical tenement block, with manduated fire excapes

Old-law tenements 

The conditions in the first tenements were very very poor and poeple lived in enourmously crowded situation. When the first tenements were built there were almost no law regulations. 1860s laws (the old las-tenements) mandated fire excape but little else.

A old-law tenement was  typically 25 feet wide by 100 feet deepand six stories tall. Built to accomodae 26 families in 325 square-foot apparments. (30 m2). Often these appartments had no windows, appart from the living room, which often was window looking out to a tiny light shaft or the, if not just another room in the same apartment. tenementlifeairshaftbathtub

tenement flat
Here is plan of a typcial tenement flat., from 1863 tenement, for twelve families.

 Each living room is 11 m2 and the bedrooms are  4 m2.   There were no bathrooms or actual kitchens in the apartments.  Cooking would have been done in the fireplace or coal stove in the living room.  Water for cooking and washing would have been brought up in buckets from a stand pipe in the backyard that served dozens of families, or a public water pump down the street. Privies or latrines (for the entire building) would have been in the basement or backyard, and be basically outhouses without running water, just a pit.

These were filthy and also dangerous places, so often people used chamber pots instead, especially at night, and it was common-place practice to toss the contents out the windows.

New-law tenements

There was a realization that in order to create apartment buildings for working people that were livable, they had to be larger, and there had to be larger light courts. Therefor, 1901 the so called new law passed.

The new-law appartments were still small, but there was a minium room size and earch room had to have a window.

Each apartment had a cross -ventilation, each room had a window, eahter that look out on the street or that look out into the courtyard. Note the shaft next to the stair, ment for venilitation but people used it to through their trash down.


Each appartment had a entrance was from a balcony with a stair, in case of fire.

There was running water in each apartment and there were baths in the basement.

1910 tenement kitchen class via shorpy

(a model tenement kitchen, seprate from the bedrooms, with running water and window)

Next decade tenement conditions improved, (even though people still lived in the old-law tenements cause of housing shortage)

Even though appartments were small, the kitchen, the largest living space, was seperated from the bedrooms. In earlier tenements you would have to walk through one room to get to the next, often a bedroom. In the model- tenements each room was separated, which meant you had privacy, if children was sleeping etc.

Buildings got balconies, to give people chanse to use and breath fresh air and couryards grew bigger, which was a save place for children to play  under superwise from their parents out the appartments windows.

(tenement with a courtyard).

Schröderhouse, the origin of flexibility?

The Rietveld Schröderhuis in Utrecht is an icon of the Modern Movement in architecture and an outstanding expression of human creative genius in its purity of ideas and concepts as developed by the De Stijl movement and flexibility. With its radical approach to design and the use of space, the Rietveld Schröderhuis occupies a seminal position in the development of architecture in the modern age.(http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/965)

House in Hiyoshi in Yokohama, Japan | EANA

Architects: EANA
Location: Yokohama City, Kanagawa, Japan
Design Team: Kohei Iwasaki, Tota Abe
Construction: Genki Kensetsu
Total floor Area: 91.10 sqm
Site Area: 104.13 sqm
Area: 45.55 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Koichi Torimura

A house located at the south of the city park on a hill was designed for a married couple. Since the site is set on the back of the hill, residents can look down a residential district and a station on the south side, and a lot of greenery at the city park surrounds the site on the north side.

Based on the owner’s economical reason and future lifestyle, the house plan was designed as simple as possible. A bedroom, a future kid-room, storage space and a bathroom are placed on the first floor with a low ceiling, which is a flexible approach in order to change for a future different way of life. On the other hand, living room in which the family spends much time is on the second floor with a 4-meter high ceiling. By having a big volume of the space, the outside greenery of the park and the open sky are coming into the room. As a result, such a spread of the room helps them to spend time there more enjoyable.

Static multifunction furniture


The architects added a massive two-level timber structure.The furniture contains all of the functions that a “man about town” might need :  bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and a small mezzanine overlooking the main living space.



Whether for a single person or a family, adding a large, bold object like this in the middle of a living space is a creative way to effectively double the floorspace of a living area…provided that you have sufficiently high ceilings, of course.