The childhood dream of being a princess in a big castle was really short-lived once I understood that you had to keep spending time in that castle. When hearing one’s own inner voices and suddenly the echo makes you hear your five personalities having a discussion. The same goes for MTV Cribs. Large spaces can be seen as not only a symbol of power, but as less functional. The Louvre is supposed to be grand, don’t to mix things up. When it comes down to homes, the sleeping bag of a construction, which is supposed to make you feel warm and safe can make you feel the opposite if it’s too empty. There’s only so many square meters you really need vs. what you think you need (because you got brainwashed in ’95 by MTV Cribs). In larger spaces we tend to see dividers: it can be a shelf or a curtain dividing one zone from the other. To make what? More intimacy. In compact living however you have the minimum of square meters to begin with, in other words you don’t have the issue of dividing the surplus material of the space. Dividing an already intimate space into zones. Aesthetically, the use of materials should be very subtle, -the expression of purity must be present as it’s not limitless what smaller spaces can handle. A lot of compact living has a big amount of plywood, but remember that too much plywood can be disturbing as it’ll function as a pattern made by nature.

Half levels and plateaus makes great zones.
Drawing and project: Heren 5 architects, in collaboration with furniture designer Paul Timmer.

On the continent of the pros and cons the con can be a lack of privacy, and the very open floor plan may not be appropriate for a family of five. This depends on both square meters and cubic meters.

The Biscuit Factory Apartment by London based architectural studio Suprblk