Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Five People, Nine Cubes, Lots of Wood

By LifeEdited standards, 872 sq ft (81 sq m) isn’t small, but when it’s housing a family of five, it’s pretty impressive. That was the space Brachard de Tourdonnet Architects were tasked with making work for one French family. Besides normal home functionality, the clients wanted the home to be like “life in a caravan in which everything is functional and integrated,” according to the architect’s website. What they devised was a space portioned into nine cubes, each measuring 97 sq ft, a ton of built-in furniture and walls and doors that can be opened to create larger spaces or closed off for private ones as needs and family affection (or lack thereof) demand.

We’d guess the ceilings are about 12′ high–tall enough for two of the cubes to be divided vertically such that there are sleeping lofts for the kids. Narrow hallways and glass walls allow light to pass from the south-facing window bank to the back of the house where there are no windows.

The architects do not indicate what type of wood is used for the main structure, but there’s a lot of it. What we know about custom millwork like this makes us guess this place cost a fortune to build. That said, we don’t know the particular economics of the space. It may have been much cheaper to renovate then move to a larger apartment.

The coolest feature of the apartment is that it provides at least one door for every member of the family. In other words, if everyone is feeling antisocial and sick of one another (a not so rare occurrence in many families), everyone has a place they can call their own. For five people to do that in a space less than 900 sq ft is impressive indeed.

Via Living in Shoebox

  • Ron Barth

    There are a lot of factors that would make spending that fortune on the apartment
    more than worthwhile.

    Some are tangible and some are intangible and some are tangible to community and
    more to the planet at large.

    1. Resale value
    2. Fun factor in life and living
    3. Cost of moving is extraordinarily high in big cities.
    4. Real estate commissions in buying and selling a home which end up on the new mortgage
    5. School system quality you want to retain
    6. Commuting time and cost for the 5 people – time is money and over the long-term adds up substantially.
    7. Local services that suit you well
    8. Friends and neighbors you don’t want to lose
    9. A larger place requires additional costs in furnishing which offsets a lot of the cost in the fabrication of this apartment
    10. Higher utility bills in a larger space
    11. Higher taxes in a larger space

    Add up all the additional costs and suddenly the millwork isn’t so expensive
    especially if the costs are incorporated into a mortgage and the costs above
    are calculated over time – you might have an even trade-off or even better!

    And then there is the benefit of sustainability and the environmental benefits of a
    lower carbon footprint.

    Ron Barth

    Resource Furniture

  • Ben Avery Lang

    This is incredible, as too be expected. What a cool way for families to truly live TOGETHER.

  • Maggie

    I love the idea of furniture and rooms that can change according to requirements! But boy, that’s a lot of wood.

  • Paiman Vahdati

    So awesome! Most likely save a ton of money not having to buy furniture to fill up empty space!