A Tiny Apartment in Hong Kong Transforms into 24 Rooms

By • May 7, 2011 •  Selected Work 

Gary Chang, an architect, designed his 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong to be able to change into 24 different designs, all by just sliding panels and walls.

He calls this the “Domestic Transformer.”

Check out the video of Chang in his apartment below.

Chang has been living in this apartment since he was 14 years old. After his parents move out, he tried a series of modifications:

Source: NYTimes

Photos courtesy of Gary Chang

A Tiny Apartment in Hong Kong Transforms into 24 Rooms was published on HomeDSGN on May 7, 2011.

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43 Comments to A Tiny Apartment in Hong Kong Transforms into 24 Rooms

  1. Cobrin Benson says:

    Looks like the apartment from The Fifth Element.

  2. ChenChui says:

    A tiny apartment? Are you serious? Have you ever been to Hong Kong?!?
    Come see real ‘tiny’.

    • Other says:

      Not even HK, also in Europe, you would have a family living in a place like this. My apartment is very small too :(
      Let me tell you though, this is the future. Modular spaces that can be transformed depending on the activity and/or the time of day. As we cannot seem to solve overpopulation issues… we better start getting used to this kind of things

  3. Tiago Barufi says:

    A hell of a living, the neighbours must have been getting through.

  4. Rosemary says:

    The downside is that the occupant has to be fit enough to move all these heavy elements. How would a 70 year old move a wall of books every day? Or someone with a back injury push that bed up every morning.

    • Squidster says:

      Easy. This is version 1. I bet if he ever gets funding, full motorized sliders and motors for all the moving parts are extremely easy to implement. And not forgetting full remote control and perhaps voice control capabilities. Imagine speaking “bed down”, and voila! time for bed!

      • tito says:

        and imagine saying to a guest “the last time i took the bed down”…and bam the bed falls on their head.

      • Chris says:

        Easy. A few linear motors and some sensors and limit switches. Done.

    • clonan says:

      With a Remote Control and the magic of electricity! :)

    • NFN_NLN says:

      70 year olds with back problems should probably come to the realization that many things are out of their reach. The 97% of the population isn’t suppose to cater to the other 3%.

  5. Nigel Sollars says:

    instead of saying “Here is whats wrong with it” how about taking this nice real world working concept and making changes to fit your needs?

    we have technology like pistons / electric motors that can make lifting / moving things alot easier.

    Personally speaking I think there is real genius here in its simplicity, almost taking simple ( in use right now ) travel home tech and applying it to a fixed abode.

    And adding some real novel additions of his own.

    Great work and I hope to see more of it!

  6. Damnasians says:

    Yeah just stay over there .. we do not need no more ppl cause we don’t want to live like that.

    • Namigin says:

      Are you freaking serious? Americans could use a little downsizing schooling. Everything for us has to be constantly bigger. That’s not always the best thing though, there are tiny apartments in the U.S. too and personally the idea behind tiny homes and smaller living spaces is really starting to be appealing to me. I’d like to not have to rely so much on money and having to be a consumer to survive. Making a living space just enough for me+my significant other is an awesome way to do that.

  7. TinyHome says:

    Cool apartment, but its quite big… Fit it into my 182 square feet and i’ll be impressed!

  8. Jaded says:

    It’s nice, it’s interesting, but it’s not new. My mother has a modular apartment and she live in Oakland CA. It’s not as sophisticated that’s for sure, but she didn’t want to spend the money it would cost to have more than the few modular pieces installed. True he changed it from a simple partition system to big walls that slide, but I’ve seen that before in other places. There are companies in the US that actually make modular systems. Murphy Bed is an old old concept, Google it.

  9. Bill says:

    Can we talk about his unusually large DVD/CD/book collection?

  10. FooBar says:

    Why does the video have subtitles? I found that offensive and borderline racist, to say the least. The narrator has as much of an accent as Mr. Chang – why not subtitles for the narration?

    • Joe Sixpack says:

      When you find a place you can go where no one ever offends anyone, let me know so I can never go there, because clearly no one is allowed to have opinions, emotion, or creative thought there.

      tl;dr

      You are what’s wrong with society – and in the name of free thought, expression, and speech – you are an idiot.

    • Jack says:

      Probably because not everyone can understand accents.
      I find you remark racist and inconsiderate.

    • Kohinoor says:

      I had trouble understanding what Gary was saying. I had no trouble understanding what the narrator was saying. I suspect that this is the case with all English listeners outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and possibly Japan and the Koreas.

      Great idea and props to Gary!

    • NFN_NLN says:

      > I found that offensive and borderline racist, to say the least.

      It’s not racist at all. Most oriental people have large buck teeth which makes pronunciation hard. Watch any 1960′s cartoon and you’ll see what I mean.

    • Fedos says:

      I was glad for the subtitles because I was watching without sound.

  11. Snooj says:

    If he bought an iPod he could get rid of that whole wall of CDs.

  12. Space Saver says:

    He’d save a boatload more room digitizing all those cd/dvd/books – holy jeezus

  13. DeanC says:

    Be great if you could do that to a RV.

    • Dennis Lee says:

      Great idea! Every time you hit the brakes or turned a corner, you could have a whole new layout!

  14. Dennis Lee says:

    “Everyone needs room to swing a cat” . . . . Louis Kahn

  15. yohocoma says:

    All those movable walls (and even worse if they become motorized) must be hell on the immediate neighbors, if the walls and floors between apartments are of typical quality. Noise, especially low-decibel thumbing/thudding noise of the type these modular wall movements probably produce, in cramped apartment buildings is a very serious issue.

    And I would imaging that living with these modular spaces enforces a modularization of one’s lifestyle, a constant planning ahead to avoid repetitive wall movements. No more watching TV and casually wandering into the kitchen for a snack before returning to the TV – big walls have to pushed around, TV might have to be folded in, other things carefully moved out of the way.

    The problem is the CROWDEDNESS, the population and economic and cultural problems which has people living in these cramped conditions. Technological “fixes” are usually distractions from the underlying problems.

    • Patrice says:

      You are right about the economic and cultural issues, but you have said they are technological “fixes” distracting from the underlying problems. I think the increasing contextual and social needs are creating a demand for flexible and transforming design, as we are now being pushed into smaller spaces, and facing less financial stability, but their is going to be no stopping increasing population, so is there any other way to accommodate for the metropolis lifestyle? I would say these modular systems help, not cover the problem?

  16. AZMac says:

    Try inviting a girl over for a date. That hammock isn’t going to cut it

  17. TheRuns says:

    Totally awesome, but you better hope you don’t need to make a REALLY quick run to the bathroom.

  18. Dave says:

    That is so cool! Very creative.

  19. Mike says:

    Why should it be banned, seen woman out in the weekend wearing about the same or less.. Worried the kids will see it? Since at a bar/club it should all be 21 and over?

    Mike
    Alaska

  20. Mike says:

    Sorry commenting on the speedo swim suits..

    It looks workable..

    Could be fun, especially as the seasons change and the need for different floors and closets?

    As well as sun facing and additional items like solar cells and like?

    Things falling from the ceiling? Drop down things? Can the design pass code in the US/Canada?

    Mike

  21. Mark says:

    Not bad at all. I couldn’t live in such a small space, but that’s just me and what I am used to. As a solution to a common problem within that market I think is a well thought out and executed solution. I am sure people could find ways to improve it, but at least have some respect for the working proof of concept delivered by the designer.

    If this concept can be translated into a cost efficient building process then it has great potential in densely populated locations, student accommodation, affordable housing etc. Although there are cultural issues to translate also, the average welfare housing project in Britain still supplies a dwelling space far bigger than this.

  22. Randy says:

    I wonder what this cost him to build.

  23. eh says:

    So useful!!!!so genius!
    It’s very amazing idea~

  24. Boris Buell says:

    Is it doesn’t small tweaks that can cause the most dramatic shift.

  25. Paula says:

    West End, Vancouver BC….Many people liveded in rooming houses in the ’50′s. We now have far too much stuff…..I now live in a Bachlor suit in a high rise (350 sq. ft.) and it includes a washroom—downsize in stuff! I don’t need a modular sized home. Paula

  26. QuasiPreneur says:

    So.. I have one word: 5th Element.

    Watch the movie and observe…

    EXACT same room.. same concept and execution…

    innovative.. not..however inspired he took the step to make it a reality…

    The Japanese have corner stoned the “tiny apt” living… family of 4 living in a 350sq room.. that’s tiny living….

    One thought.. would be interesting if he could like.. sit in ONE chair and with a push of a button all the walls move in concert to change into another room….. now..THAT would be neat…

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