Living in a box: man converts storage cupboard into 13-sqm micro-flat

A self-confessed minimalist has attracted the attention of the international design world after converting on old storage unit into a microscopic 13-square-metre flat.

Szymon Hanczar, a lecturer at Wrocław’s school of art and design, converted the old unit in Wrocław into an apartment in 2017, giving it all the functionality of a conventional home despite its postcard-sized proportions.

His unique project has resulted in articles about it in publications such as ‘Small Homes. Grand Living’, ‘Label Magazine’ and ‘Icon’.

“After an adventure like this, you start to see that there are more important things than objects,” says Hanczar. “I think we are living in an era of excess, it is irresponsible, it is sick. Less stuff can make you happier.”

Keeping this in mind he managed to squeeze every inch of his life into the tiny room. The flat comes with a bathroom with a shower, a double bed, washing machine, desk, drawers, kitchenette, a closet, a hammock and even a shelf to store his bike.

The double bed sits elevated at the top of the apartment and under it lurks the kitchenette, the bathroom and a handy cupboard.

The elevated bed is something Hanczar is particularly fond of. “That saves a lot of space, because I get additional square metres, more than four, which is a lot in this case,” he says.

Within the extra four square metres the kitchenette boasts a sink, cupboards and pull-out chopping board. On the right there’s a sliding door which leads to the simple white tiled bathroom. Next to the bathroom is a closet which is where you will find the washing machine, iron and clothes hamper.

Hanczar has furnished the main living areas with a desk and a chair on one side of the room, and a chest of drawers on the other side. The furniture he chose is multi-purpose and elegant. The desk, for example, can be extended and a chair added, so two people can sit at it.

Hanczar’s apartment eliminates the want for material extravagance. The smart layout and stripped back style has everything an independent city dweller needs although Hanczar concedes his tiny flat is easy to outgrow, and it might not be to everyone's tastes.