Proctor and Shaw design micro-apartment in London with ‘sleeping cocoon’
London-based studio Proctor and Shaw has completed a 29-square-meter micro-apartment in Belsize Park, with an elevated sleeping area wrapped in translucent panels that reference Japanese shoji screens.
Called Shoji Apartment, the project was to transform a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor into a compact, open-plan studio that takes advantage of the 3.4-meter-high ceilings of the original building.
“This apartment renovation project is designed as a micro-life prototype in an existing housing stock with limited floor areas but traditionally generous ceiling heights,” explained Proctor & Shaw.
“We are by no means suggesting that this is a new typology or a new housing solution. However, the project could perhaps add to the ongoing debate on how the quality of the space could be ‘measured’ and what that might mean for future city life. “
Two existing interior walls that previously divided the space have been removed to create an open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area, with the existing bathroom being reconfigured to include a walk-in shower.
The high ceilings generated the concept of “stacking”, which sees the king-size bed raised on a wooden platform in the corner of the room accessed by a set of wooden steps, creating space for a walk-in closet. below.
Sliding polycarbonate screens surround the wardrobe, steps and bed, creating a lantern-shaped “sleeping cocoon” that can be closed from the living room or opened to view through the bay window facing north of the room.
“The innovative sleeping pod creates pleasure through new perspectives and a sense of sanctuary, while solving issues of limited functional space and inadequate storage,” the studio said.
“Open or closed, illuminated or opaque, its surface and volume come to life in use, acting both as a lantern for the larger room or as a mezzanine with an intimate view of the street.
To complement the effect of the polycarbonate screens, materials were chosen to bring a “subtle warmth” to the space, with soft clay plaster on the walls and ceilings and birch plywood joinery used for the decoration. kitchen, shelves and the perimeter of the door.
A length of cable taught over one half of the room supports a pendant light that subtly demarcates the kitchen and dining area from the rest of the room.
New sound and thermal insulation was added to the ceilings and walls, which also created space for recessed lighting and blinds.
Shoji Apartment was recently shortlisted in the Residential Renaissance category at the Dezeen Awards 2021, and another Proctor and Shaw project, Quarter Glass House, was shortlisted in the same category.
The photograph is by Ståle Eriksen.