Taiwanese design studio 2BOOKS design has a reputation for minimalist interiors whose stark simplicity belie an eye for layout optimization and a laser-focused attention to detail, an approach that’s particularly suited to compact spaces like this apartment in Taipei City, Taiwan. Measuring just 36.5 square metres, the once drab, cramped property has been revamped into a spacious, light-filled home of understated sophistication.
Taking advantage of the apartment’s high ceiling, the previous owners had added a mezzanine level which increased the floor space as intended but also impeded natural light distribution making the space feel dark and claustrophobic. In order to rectify this, the team removed those parts of the mezzanine next to the windows allowing daylight to flood in unobstructed and creating double-height pockets. In combination with an all-white colour palette and open-plan layout, the apartment is now imbued with a sense of openness and lightness.
Housing a powder room and storage space on the lower level and a bathroom on the mezzanine, the central core discretely divides the open-plan living area into dining, seating and kitchen zones, the latter opening up onto a small balcony. Clad in light-toned birch plywood, the only departure from the apartment’s monochromatic colour scheme, the core’s vertical volume enhances the sense of spaciousness, while the stairs’ hand-towelled plaster structure and slender metallic balustrade convey a sculptural quality. On the mezzanine, the bedroom enjoys both views of the city and the kitchen area downstairs, and also features an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet, while the adjacent loft-like space, which is accessed via a vertical ladder, can be used as a study or guest room.
Eschewing decorations and superfluous furnishings in favour of a truly minimalist aesthetic, the apartment feels spacious despite its small size, but as importantly it also feels relaxed, calming and homely.