New Urbanism: Gary Chang’s 344 Sq. Ft. Apartment

June 24, 2010

Architect Gary Chang has implemented some stunning solutions for small-space living in his Hong Kong apartment. To get a first-hand glimpse of Mr. Chang’s take on how spaciousness in a small space might look and feel, take a look at this You Tube video clip below.

This compact living space — also called an accordion apartment — represents an inspiring case study for anybody considering the challenges of living in inner city areas with limited space. From the standpoints of density and functional practicality, this Chang design offers great potential. Consider that Chang’s apartment contains not just one room, but 24 rooms in one.

For instance, the living room wall slides back to reveal a storage and changing area, something Chang refers to as his spa. Behind the spa is a bathroom that receives natural light from the apartment’s single exterior window. When the bathroom is not in use, the space converts to a guest bedroom, using a pull-down Murphy bed. The entire place makes a showcase in modular functionality, as shown here in this Reuters story, continually surprises visitors.

Virginia Gardner, writing for The New York Times Home & Garden, described Chang’s magic: “He grabbed a handle near the wall-mounted television, pulling a section of the wall itself toward the center of the room. Behind it, a small countertop with two burners, a sink and a spice rack appeared. Opposite the countertop, on the back of the now-displaced wall, he lowered a hinged worktop made of a lightweight laminate of honeycombed aluminum. Suddenly, he was standing in a kitchen.”

Of interest, Chang grew up in this very small apartment with his parents, three sisters, and a tenant. The unit contained three very small bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and dining area. Chang says he has renovated the apartment four times since buying it from his parents 20 years ago. Call it a work in progress, a fabulous one.

Photo by Marcel Lam



Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.