We've seen our fair share of transforming apartments around here, from MIT's super-advanced version to this IKEA-esque wonder. But none of them can compare to the sheer inventive genius of this apartment, in which huge sliding racks make it possible to pack a whole household into a tiny corridor of space.
It's called the "All I Own House" and it was designed by four young Spanish architects, PKMN Architecture, for a fellow designer. Here's how it works: The apartment is divided up into two basic programs, one empty and one full. On the full side, three huge shelving units made out of oriented strand board — a little bit like particle board — contain all of the owner's belongings, from clothing to bedding to furniture to books.
They also contain fold-down furniture, like the client's bed and a kitchen table. The space is capped on each end by the — stationary, thankfully — bathroom and the kitchen.
What's so cool about these huge wooden shelves is that they're hanging from the walls, mounted on industrial sliding racks. Like the sliding bookshelves of your college library, you can move each slab of stuff along two metal rails affixed to the walls on either side of the space, creating whatever you need at a particular moment: A bedroom, a cooking area, a reading room, even an office — that big black circle on one wall is a chalkboard for client meetings.
Each shelf can weigh up to 800kg when full, right at the threshold of what you could expect the average human to slide across a room several times a day, but it's clearly doable.
Why go to all the trouble? As the architects explain, packing so much stuff into one tiny area makes it possible to enjoy the wide open living room on the other side of the apartment. "Each of our possessions has its own private story, a memory associated to it and, just the same way in which we grow and change, our personal belongings change," they write. "The way in which we accumulate and display our stuff through the space ends up reflecting our personality."
So in a way, this is also a self-regulating system to get the client to control the amount of sheer stuff she accumulates — something all of us could be a little more cognisant of. [PKMN Architecture; Dezeen]
All images used courtesy of PKMN Architecture.