Type Street Apartment

Richmond, Victoria
Completed in 2016
2018 Architeam Winner – ArchiTeam Medal | Best Small Projects | Best Alteration and Addition
2018 House Awards Shortlisted – Best Apartment or Units
A’Design Award Bronze Design Award winner 19-20 – Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Category

The small footprint living philosophy fits perfectly with our practice’s pursuit of hard-working and inventive design solutions.

We maximised every last centimetre of this basic, 1970s one bedroom apartment to explore the central question: how might we fit a big house into a small unit? The trick to designing small footprint homes is knowing where it pays to be generous.

At just 35m2, Type Street Apartment is our smallest project but its impact is sizeable. With a raft of hidden features, it is at once a space for entertaining, a home office and a place of rest.

Working within the constraints of the original floor plan, we poured our energies and a modest budget into floor-to-ceiling, multifunctional cabinetry and wall systems. This would allow us to conceal an abundance of storage in every room – a feature often lacking in apartment living. Working with a cabinetmaker who specialises in high-end hotels gave us confidence in the finishes, and we prototyped three versions of the fold-down dining table to determine the best solution.


We knew the biggest kitchen possible would be well-utilised for dinner parties. Where once there was just a sink, there is now a four-metre long kitchen, with three metres of bench space and ample concealed storage. In the daytime, the kitchen borrows light and views of the green wall from the bathroom, but privacy film glass can be activated at the flick of a switch.

To create the illusion of space in an apartment with standard-height ceilings, we relied on several key design solutions. Mirrored cabinetry and skirting makes the living room feel bigger. A fold-up desk in the office nook packs work away at night. A retractable clothesline makes maximum use of the bathroom, and concealed air conditioning in the bedroom means no ugly views of services. Knowing everything needed for a comfortable life is stored within reach, and with cleaning the whole home taking under an hour, what’s not to love about a small footprint life?

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