Three Small Rooms
by Studio Cadena

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New York architects Studio Cadena placed three white boxes inside this industrial loft in Brooklyn to make bedrooms for three flatmates (+ slideshow).

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: photograph by Ian Allen

Studio Cadena was asked to turn a 60-square-metre space in a former factory building into an apartment for three occupants.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

The architects removed the existing partitions and added three compact boxes to create private bedroom spaces while maximising the size of the communal area.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: photograph by Angela DeRiggi

Glazed openings allow light inside the bedrooms, which are arranged to receive as much light as possible from the loft's large windows.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Completed at short notice and on a tight budget, the loft took nine weeks, 141 emails, 64 calls, 55 texts and three contractors, according to the architects.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: photograph by Ian Allen

We recently featured a home in Japan with its top floor arranged across separate sheds and another house with four more tiny houses contained inside it.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: photograph by Ian Allen

Other New York apartments we've featured on Dezeen include a loft with glass ceilings and walls and a home for an art collector containing a library and gallery.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

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Photographs and images are by Studio Cadena, except where stated.

Here's some more information from the architects:

Three Small Rooms
A Loft in Brooklyn

Located in a former factory building in the burgeoning artist's enclave of Bushwick, Brooklyn, a small industrial loft awkwardly subdivided by existing partitions was transformed into a bright and open space that could be shared by three young roommates moving into what would become their first shared loft in the city.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

On Saying Yes:

Clients: We have a project for you.
Architect: Great!
Clients: But we have very little money.
Architect: No problem, I'll work with what you have.
Clients: And we need to do it really fast.
Architect: Ok, how fast?
Clients: Can you design something for next week? We need to start construction next week.
Architect: ?
Clients: We plan to move in a couple of weeks. Can you do it?
Architect: It's impossible...(silence)...Ok, YES. I will try.
Clients: Great!
Architect: You know this will probably take longer and surely end up costing more?
Clients: ?
Architect: Ok, give me a week. I'll think of something simple; something interesting. If you like it, we'll find a way to get it done.
Clients: Ok
Architect: Great!

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Rather than subdividing the loft into the needed rooms, three small and separate volumes cluster around a large common area and are set apart within the raw space. Huddling together, these rooms within rooms create intimate spaces while maximising the shared living area needed for gatherings and daily communal living. Now unobstructed, the large windows open up to views of the rapidly changing post-industrial landscape, while allowing light to seep deep inside the loft.

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: plan

1 Loft
3 Rooms
660 sq ft
9 weeks
141 emails
64 calls
55 texts
3 contractors

Three Small Rooms by Studio Cadena

Above: section

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  • Lee

    An interesting use of the space, but it doesn’t look like each room has a lot of storage.

  • ronia

    What a lovely way to play with the space :)

  • heod

    Japan in USA.

  • Esperanza Manas

    Oh, but they do have lots of storage. This is my daughter Cristina’s loft and the rooms have open closet space with lofts for extra storage (for two of them). The beds have built-in drawers and there is still room for a table/dresser. The girls are artists/photographers and they store their artwork on top of their rooms.

    There are also bookcases in the dining area and a huge storage unit (Ikea) in the entrance hall. The best part was the tall windows with unobstructed views of the Manhattan sky line! This was a crazy, fabulous experience and we can’t say enough good things about the Cadena Studio. They are a miracle.

  • oam

    Lovely way to live small. I want one!

  • ellytrinh90

    That’s an amazing creation. Young roommates who live in small spaces always need private space.

  • ysc

    How is the natural air ventilation inside the room?