AP 1211 by
Alan Chu


A jumble of wooden boxes provide a compact storage solution in this São Paulo micro apartment by Brazilian architect Alan Chu (+ slideshow).

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

In an attempt to save space, Alan Chu confined all the storage to a single wall, with an entertainment system in crate-like boxes at one end and kitchen cupboards that swing or slide open at the other.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

"The idea is to use a single element to organise the space of the small apartment with an area of ​​36 square metres, distributed over two floors," he told Dezeen.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

Red surfaces inside the pinewood units match the scarlet fridge and rug, the only colour in the otherwise monochrome and wood interior.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

"The apartment is the temporary residence of a recently divorced young businessman and the decor plays with the transience of the moment: a time of changes, improvisation and reorganisation," Chu said.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

White tiles laid in a brickwork pattern cover three walls of the lower floor while the fourth is taken up by floor-to-ceiling windows.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

A large sofa bed beneath the double-height portion of the apartment takes up the majority of the floor space, though there is also room for a small table and chairs.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

A black metal staircase spirals up to the mezzanine through another wooden box that sits opposite the bathroom, tucked in one corner and surrounded by dark walls.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

Black is also used for the wall behind the bed, the only item of furniture on the glass-edged balcony apart from a chair and a wall-mounted lamp.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

Dark wood covering the ceiling below is also laid on the mezzanine floor and glass panels form balustrades that help retain an open feeling.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

Last year we posted a secret tea shop hidden behind rolling, swinging and sliding walls that Chu also designed.

AP 1211 by Alan Chu

This isn't the smallest home we've written about. Previously we featured Renzo Piano's tiny wooden cabin at the Vitra Campus for one inhabitant and a mini prefabricated guest house that gets delivered by helicopter.

Photos are by Djan Chu.

See more micro homes »
See more architecture in São Paulo »

Lower floor plan
AP 1211 by Alan Chu
Upper floor plan
AP 1211 by Alan Chu
Cross section
AP 1211 by Alan Chu
Kitchen elevation
  • Fantastic use of limited space. Don’t see anywhere to eat more formally than the sofa but you could fit a table in there. We need more places like this in central London.

    • Many

      There’s perhaps a reason why small dwellings in London don’t tend to get done up head to toe like this: normally people who cannot afford a bigger flat can’t afford to spend so much on interiors.

  • alex

    Erm… this is a waste of space!

    • Fed

      Elaborate your statement please.

      • Klappstuhl

        Murphy beds for one. First bed could also turn into a sofa as well.

  • This is amazing. Such an elegant simplicity (and I can’t take how thrilling the surprise of the red cabinet interiors are!). Really great.

  • Eveline

    Can you please say who is the manufacturer of the sofa bed? I would like to get the same for my family room. Thanks.

  • Michael

    Micro apartment? 36sqm? I don’t know what American standards are, I guess bigger is always better, but on the other side of the ocean 36sqm is not micro, for young or single people it’s standard. Two floors would be a small luxury.

    With an apartment made for the young man’s divorce I guess it will be difficult for him to let the past go. As long as he stays there it’s all about changes and reorganisation, not settling down. Maybe those ideas would have fitted better in a hotel room?

    Apart from that it looks really good and manages to keep a feeling of “home” throughout the design.

  • south

    I can guarantee you that any sofa/living room that doubles as a sleeping space will spend 95% percent of the time in its bed-state. Well, it would in my apartment anyway.

  • ann

    This screams “take me to your crib”. Ha ha.