Type Street Apartment by Tsai Design

The design questions the modern-day lifestyle of living in excess and the modern throw-away culture and hyper consumerism.
— From the architects

Architects _ Tsai Design
Location _ Richmond, Victoria
Photo _ Tess Kelly _ @tesskellyphotography

Published with BowerBird


From the architects _ “Type Street Apartment is a renovation project, converting and revitalizing an 1970s 35m2 1 bedroom apartment. The design is in support of the tiny house movement. The design questions the modern-day lifestyle of living in excess and the modern throw-away culture and hyper consumerism. 

Existing context _ The existing site is a 1-bedroom apartment, one of 12 units in a 1970s walk up apartment. With conventional 2.4m high ceiling, no working kitchen, an awkward layout, with bathroom the only space with north facing window, and no outdoor space.   

Design objective _ The design objective was to bring life back to neglected housing stock. Working within the constraints of existing layout of structure and services to create a flexible generous living / office needs of the architect occupier.  

Design solution _ The design solution was a direct response to the limitation of the apartment. Introducing an internal window between bathroom and kitchen, providing the kitchen with much needed borrowed northern light from the bathroom, a switchable privacy film is applied to the window, the glass becomes frosted to provide privacy to the bathroom at the press of a button.  

To introduce a sense of the outdoor space, the bathroom palette is carefully considered to create a feeling of an indoor/outdoor space, like a greenhouse. A feature moss wall covers the main wall, overlay with various pot plants to form a feature green wall, this is position in direct eye sight as you first enter the apartment, to be immediately greeted with nature and green.  

To create a feeling of generous and luxury, the strategy is to allocate generous proportions to the functions, a 4m kitchen is inserted into the apartment, this is the main feature to the apartment.

Layering and overlapping are the key to planning for small spaces, two different function can co-existing in the same space at different times. It then comes down to detailing of the flexible joinery to make it an effortless transition between the 2 functions, such as the slide out dining table.

Material palette _ A simple material palette is used, to bring a sense of easiness and calm, so it doesn’t overwhelm the senses. The main material statement is the timber, as all the timber finishes are coordinated to give a sense of continuity; from the timber flooring, to the timber veneer joinery and wall panels, to the ceiling, together gives the architecture language of a timber box inserted into the apartment space.

The rest of the apartment has a simple white backdrop, with white paint to wall, ceiling, colour matched to the cabinets.

A subtle silvery blue woven vinyl flooring give a contemporary reference to the traditional tatami straw flooring and brings a softness to the space.” 


Watch Section Cut with Tsai Design


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