Taiwanese practice Phoebe SaysWow Architects was commissioned to create a 33-square meter (approx. 355-square-feet) guest house as a prototype unit to show how smartly one could live in a large city like Taipei, Taiwan. Located in a 12-floor residential tower in Taipei, the XS House is spread over three levels in an open-plan space.
“Part of our clients’ focus is real-estate investment and they approached us hoping to showcase a model of smart urban living in a city with high average rent and limited land for developments,” explains Phoebe Sayswow Architects.
“We decided to add the mezzanine to more effectively utilize the given space,” said the architects. “The structure and position of the mezzanine was carefully planned to minimize its volume and visual blockage. The room is just too small to waste a single inch.”
A versatile storage wall was installed and connected to wardrobes on mezzanine level while extended to the kitchen at lower level. The design team has conceived a movable ladder and a stair bench to connect different levels while giving a touch of playfulness and a sense of gathering to the house.
The design speaks a succinct and exquisite visual language by using two contrasting but coherent materials: birch wood and glazed tiles featuring cherry pink grouts. The living room space to the right of the entrance is simply furnished with a two-seat sofa and three-legged side table. Lined with white glazed tiles, the compact kitchen is built into the wall of birch storage opposite the bathroom.
The spatial arrangement is however prepared for the social minds. “The three dimensional levels of seating encourages a dynamic conversation within the flat,” said the architects. “Our intention again is to create a cosy and fun living experience.” The steps that connect the living room and kitchen/dining room areas double as a place to sit at the circular dining table that is located between the kitchen and the sliding door to the bathroom.