Studio apartment in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte has a hidden converted slurry pit


Anne Rolland Architecte has transformed a ground-floor space in a 17th-century Parisian townhouse into a studio apartment with a secret underground room.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

Located in one of the oldest parts of the city, the flat was once used to connect a larger apartment to the yard outside.

Architect Anne Rolland's Paris-based studio undertook the property in 2015, aiming to create a completely open-plan apartment. Prior to this, it had been abandoned for 70 years.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

"We started the transformation by removing partitioning walls in order to create a large space feeling," said Rolland. "We then divided it into two using multi purpose closet furniture."

The birch-plywood storage system provides a level of privacy – separating the sleeping quarters in a raised corner of the apartment from the kitchen and living space on the other side.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

"The furniture system incorporates a desk, a dresser, drawers and cupboards," said Rolland. "I used Scandinavian-style birch plywood as it is a resistant material and doesn't require finishing."

The only completely private area of the property is toilet and shower room to the left of the bedroom.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

During the renovation work, plaster walls were removed to reveal original limestone masonry. Graphic-patterned tiles were added in reference to old-style Parisian bars.

An underground space that once functioned as slurry pit – a dam used by farmers to gather animal waste together with other unusable matter – was found and was restored to create an extra room.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

This is accessed via a mechanical trapdoor and set of wooden stairs. A circular glass wall installed in the floor of the flat provides the space with daylight.

"The man who lives in the apartment plays guitar, so the downstairs room will be a music box and home cinema," Rolland told Dezeen. "That way he can make music and watch films without annoying his neighbours."

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte

Other interesting Parisian apartment renovations include a sculptural wooden bathroom inside Haussmann-era apartment, and a flat with multicoloured flooring and space-saving stairs.

Photography is by Jérôme Fleurier.

One-room flat in Paris by Anne Rolland Architecte
Plan – click for larger image
  • dmiller

    Those cupboards are quite clearly made of birch plywood, not Scandinavian pine.

    • Hi, thanks for pointing this out. We’ve updated the article accordingly.

  • Jen19

    A secret underground room? Sounds sordid!

    • josefrichter

      The spirit of Austria in Paris.

  • Concerned Citizen

    If the intent was to “create a completely open-plan apartment”, why are there private spaces?

  • Leo

    This is nice. There are some interesting ideas to create space in a small apartment. I just think that the position of the bathroom door makes it difficult to arrange furniture in the kitchen/living area, but I guess the intention was to keep it discreet.