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A tiny apartment in Taipei that has some big ideas

Article by Homes to Love

With house prices souring in Taipei City, this clever renovation by A Little Design of a 22-square-metre apartment offers a pint-size solution to the affordable housing problem


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


Money-saving housing solutions

Like New Zealand, housing affordability in Taipei is a major problem. Many young people are being priced out of a competitive market as the cost of housing continues to climb.

Taipei is now one of the most expensive cities to buy a house in the world. Taipei’s house price-to-income ratio stood at 15.7 in this year’s Demographia housing affordability survey, higher than London (8.5), New York (6.1), or Sydney (9.8). In comparison, Auckland scored fourth-equal (along with Melbourne and San Jose) as the ‘Least Affordable Major Metropolitan Markets’ in the same survey, with housing in New Zealand described as “severely unaffordable”.


Photo by Hey! Cheese


The living spaces that young people and families can afford has become smaller and smaller as a result of this housing climate. Enter architects like A Little Design, who see these restrictions as a design challenge to be met with clever ideas and fresh thinking.

This 22 square metre apartment was designed for a woman who planned to stay in the space for a long time. Her brief was for an apartment with multi-functional spaces that met her basic needs.  She also spends a lot of time abroad for work, and when she’s home she likes to have a nice bath and good sleep.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


The must-haves:

  • A bath and a fully equipped bathroom
  •  Lots of storage for clothing and books
  • A comfortable place to sleep
  • Space to exercise
  • A living room with enough space for a couch and a dining table (many small apartments in Taipei don’t have enough room for a table)
  • A space left free of lots of ‘stuff’

How the architects met the brief:

The bathroom

The shower was replaced with a bath and the washing machine was moved to the kitchen.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.



Fixed furniture such as the kitchen cabinets, wardrobes and shelving are attached to the wall, or built in to utilise the three metre height of the apartment.

The wardrobe is easier to access due to higher frequency of use, and the occupent can use the ladder to reach books and other items when necessary.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


Sleeping and study

The bedroom mezzanine isn’t high enough to stand in but features a desk that’s designed to be used cross-legged.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


Hidden nooks

The light steel handrail is a safety and design feature in one, and the wall below it contains a TV and two concealed cabinets for shoes.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


Movable furniture

These two wooden tables alongside the wall in the living room act as a long bar table but they also fold together to create a bigger dining table.


Photo by Hey! Cheese.


Architects: A Little Design

Photos by: Hey!Cheese

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