Before small living became ubiquitous, one Chinese architect had already designed a transforming micro-home.
Gary Chang, 54, has designed projects all over the world, but he’s perhaps best known for his own 344-square-foot Hong Kong apartment. The sunny dwelling seems like an ordinary studio apartment until Chang starts pulling walls and furniture around to create over 24 different rooms, from a kitchen to a so-called gaming room.
Chang created what he calls the “Domestic Transformer” in the same apartment he moved into with his parents and three sisters when he was 14 years old. The space is located in the Sai Wan Ho district of Hong Kong on the seventh floor of a 17-story apartment building.
Chang bought his childhood home in 1988 for $45,000, according to the Times, and decided to knock down the walls and completely redesign it. Since then, it’s gone through at least four renovations, but it was the most recent one — which cost around $218,000 to create in 2007 — that turned heads.
The layout options include a bathroom with a Duravit bathtub, a living room with a hammock, and a kitchen with a sink, burners, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Chang told the Times that the large glass shower can also become a steam room, and that he installed a special toilet with a heated seat and remote-control bidet.
There’s also a walk-in closet, dining area for five people, laundry room, and remote-controlled movie screen that doubles as curtains. In fact, most of his home is fully automated — Chang can control many of his devices with his smartphone.
Thought most of the space is made up of sliding walls that double as storage, Chang said there’s about 180-square-feet of unused space that helps to make the apartment feel bigger.
“I glide around,” Chang told The Times in 2009. “It’s all about transformation, flexibility, and maximizing space.”