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Julie Nabucet 01

How Small is Big Enough?

As real world experiences go Paris is huge. An urban powerhouse. The pressure that puts on the cost of living is also huge. In response to those economics Paris is fast becoming a leader in world of the ever-shrinking living space. Tiny apartments aren’t new of course they’ve just become more formalized. In New York early this year then current Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winner of a tiny-apartment competition and offered up another convincing argument for going small in major urban centres. Addressing affordable living space in huge urban centres is a very real challenge so innovative Parisian architect Julie Nabucet stepped up. Introducing the 129 square foot living space.

129 square feet might seem like a typo but as the video reveals it contains a wonderful aggregate of thoughtful design decisions resulting in a quite livable micro-apartment. The attention to detail by architect Julie Nabucet is what makes the space work. Using subtle touches in the division of functional areas featuring textural and spatial elements and leaning on the abundance of natural light she has created a casual energy that flows easily through the space.

Certainly the high ceiling helps. It allows the space to be divided vertically adding another element of visual interest. Adding the raised platform containing the kitchen creates space beneath for a roll-away bed that serves double duty as a couch. With a functional shower and toilet the capsule style apartment is complete. Taking full advantage of an interesting view of the neighbouring roof tops it gives the tiny apartment a real sense of outward space. Taken as a whole the apartment resets what would certainly be considered as micro.

While 129 square feet is not for everyone this design certainly makes you consider how much space you really need and that’s the point. Make it possible to have affordable infill living space. In releasing her proof of concept Julie Nabucet has made a strong statement for smaller being better and it shows how exceptional design solutions can help re-write our assumptions about how we might just be able to experience living in a major international city like Paris.

Image: Julie Nabucet

 

Follow Ted Blanchard on Twitter. Ted Blanchard is a Senior Creative Producer, Art Director and Design Practitioner. www.tedblanchard.ca