Never Too Small: TAAAC! Apartment
Micro Living
Milan, IT


the generic name for the various tools used in domestic life. Eg. in the kitchen: some utensils more necessary in the kitchen are pots, pans and cutlery.
In artisan shops, laboratories or workshops, any simple tool suitable for working with metals, wood or stone; for example. the hammer, the chisel, the pincers, the pliers, the scissors, the saw, the file, the drill, the awl, etc.
- Vocabulary Treccani

The project is designed in an organic way, taking several aspects into account from the outset, starting with the distribution of spaces, as a tool that can simplify and facilitate the activities of domestic life. The rooms are organized through an inhabited envelope made up of a set of custom-integrated fixed furniture elements.
The walls, doors and elements of mobile furniture are removed from the construction of space and of domestic life, and only ‘structures as devices’ remain, which organize the available space with elements that can change function during the day. The house is no longer conceived as an empty envelope to be filled or decorated with objects that affirm a status, but as an ad hoc tool capable of simplifying and making ordinary and extraordinary actions and gestures more comfortable, at different times of the day, on demand.

The acceptable contemporary urban apartment usually consists of many environments: an entrance with supporting furniture; a kitchen without compromise; a snack area (which we realised functions better as an island); a dining area which has the possibility to welcome a good number of guests on different occasions; a living and relaxation area; a sleeping area in the form of an alcove, or bedroom; a wardrobe or closet; a study area for working remotely; a bathroom with a full wall shower a required services. In a micro apartment, the main challenge is to incorporate all of these elements into a very confined space.

Comfort is more
Perceptions inside the home can be changed according to the perspective of the user, allowing the apartment to be a reflection of the feelings and the mood of the person. It is important to understand how the spaces in the house have the ability to change during different times of the day and how those changes, in relationship with the natural light entering the apartment, can allow the user to adapt those spaces for different uses. The adaptability of the spaces should allow the inhabitant to achieve both private and semi-private spaces with minimal effort. This also allows the person to provide a variety of experiences within a very confined space, a freedom which would otherwise be lost if this element of flexibility was not considered. The sensitive material choices and colour palette are vital to achieving a sense of calm in a space which can be transformed into a private sanctuary within the busy and vibrant city centre. For us it is important to emphasize that furniture or furnished elements can provide multiple functions: they define space limits and fixed scenes, but are also tool boxes and functional elements, which act as storage for items which are fundamental to contemporary urban living.

To ensure the presence of the different environments, it is necessary to work with the concept of time.

“Comfort depends ninety-eight percent on common sense and two percent on aesthetics”
- Terence Conran

Only a few uses can take place at the same time or within a close proximity to another. Most household activities are regularly carried out in fairly orderly succession. The use of the space changes following the movement of the body within it (like a glove), and not vice versa. ‘Home as a tool’ also means that the body and its life (and requirements) are at the centre of the construction of the space, with all the limits and weaknesses it brings with it.

The aspiration of comfort remains. Those who live in a house need a minimum living space, naturally well lit, a double bed, a full kitchen, a closet at the entrance for wet umbrellas, etc.
When we speak about Micro Apartments, we know that this can work only if the space is comfortable. To achieve that, it is necessary to think in a different way from the early stages of the project. A way that sees the whole picture all together, and synthesizes it.
Today, we think that the comfort of a well designed house - beautiful, flexible and functional at the same time and one that can actually improve the quality of the moments spent in it - is the real luxury experience people want, more than a place that reflects an economic status.

Produced by: Newmac
Creator: Colin Chee
Producer: Lindsay Barnard
Director/Camera operator: Alessandro Carpentiero
Editor: Colin Chee
Interview: Philip Kolevsohn
First b/w Illustration: Built-in wall storage unit with built-in bed and desk - Charles and Ray Eames, 1961
NCSU Design Library Image Collection
Second coloured illustration: from the book "Easier life" Wright

Video Link: NEVER TOO SMALL Ep47
Project link: Link