Urban Trend: The Rise of Small Space Homes
The M101 SkyWheel in Kuala Lumpur shows what living in the premium sector with reduced space can look like in the future. Innovative room solutions and the functional way of thinking design make the project a milestone in urban living.
Researchers predict that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities. Urban space is becoming increasingly attractive, although the space available is limited, especially in metropolitan areas and large cities. Not only the lack of space impels more and more people to live in fewer square meters. Trends such as the Sharing Economy, new ideas about what one wants to own and share, and an increasing number of delivery and mobility services will make it possible to save space. A large kitchen, storage space or electrical appliances are for example no longer needed in every household. Voluntarily reducing one’s own living space is also a consequence of a trend towards dematerialization. Accumulating property as an expression of prosperity is increasingly giving way to the desire to take less responsibility for possessions and to free oneself from material ballast. Reduced living space is celebrated as a new luxury and contemporary freedom. Living is becoming more flexible, multifunctional, individual and is, even in the premium sector, happening on smaller space.
Rethinking living space
For planners and designers this poses the challenge of comprehensively rethinking the way we live in order to create intelligent, innovative solutions for comfortable, effective and aesthetic spaces. Since its foundation by Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche almost 50 years ago, Studio F. A. Porsche has been involved with functional design, combining excellent technology, materials and aesthetics in timeless perfection. Studio F. A. Porsche embodies this design DNA in products as well as in space and interior design. The basis of its design is a holistic way of thinking with concepts and methods that are anchored in solid values. The design philosophy of Studio F. A. Porsche is clearly expressed in the M101 SkyWheel project currently under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The impressive building with two towers, between which a Ferris wheel – the SkyWheel – is placed, is considered a new highlight in the city skyline and strengthens Kuala Lumpur as an international tourist destination. In addition to the elegant façade and various common areas, Studio F. A. Porsche designed the exclusive suites. One to two people will live in the apartments, which are planned for a demanding clientele, on 80 to 95 square meters.
Transformative rooms with exclusive materials
Purism and clarity define the furnished premium suites in the M101 SkyWheel. The masculine basic mood and reduced colorfulness are complemented by precisely set light accents and high-quality materials. The floors are made of marble and monitors are integrated into dark glass walls, taking regional requirements into account. The cool, smooth materials are contrasted by the rough exposed concrete on the walls in warm nuances as well as natural surfaces such as warm, dark oak veneer, leather and fabrics.
“While an interior designer focuses on the mood of the rooms when planning an apartment, we also think of the room as a functional product,” explains the responsible designer at Studio F. A. Porsche. “We have the special ability to give emotional expression to the technical-functional”.
Function and aesthetics at eye level
Extraordinary and innovative is the design of the floor plans in the M101 suites. In order to achieve maximum flexibility in the reduced space, Studio F. A. Porsche works with unusual wall solutions. Instead of defining separate rooms with solid walls, a central cube is located in the middle of the apartment. This contains room-high sliding doors that can divide the apartment into different areas of life as required and disappear invisibly into the cube when not in use. The space is used optimally and individual areas are multifunctional. The fully equipped kitchenette with refrigerator, hotplate and sink can also be used as a bar or dining area with the kitchen block in front of it. In addition to the kitchen elements, screens and storage space are invisibly integrated into the walls. From the precise spatial layout and the ideal arrangement of the functional areas to the lighting concept and exclusive materials, the suites create an efficient, comfortable living space with a homely atmosphere. At the same time, the designers have achieved the most open design possible within the apartments, so that the occupants can also express their individual personality in their new home. Extraordinary, functional rooms with a high expressiveness are becoming increasingly relevant, especially in the premium segment.
A sustainable future
In order to make living in a compact space sustainable, designers will have to find innovative solutions that go beyond the mere reduction of familiar structures. The relevant questions are what function the home of the future should fulfil, what sustainable living solutions look like, how individual demands on living will change and where work and social life will take place in the future. It is not only in the Asian region that the trend can be observed that, in addition to the growing sharing culture and changing work models, premises are also being shared and activities are being shifted from the private to the public sector. Studio F. A. Porsche sees the impending change as an opportunity and sees the responsibility for designers to think holistically about the new living in compact spaces in order to design contemporary spaces of the highest quality, functionality and relevance.