With rising land prices and increasing population in the cities, condominium or ‘condo’ living has become widespread. Even in the predominantly low rise subdivision communities where two storey houses had been the norm, high rise condominiums by the major developers have been finding inroads to cater to: the children of first movers of the community, the expanding middle class, young families and the phenomenon of students or workers of nearby universities and business centers. These mid market units range from twenty square meter studios to forty five square meter two bedroom units found in sites close to commercial, institutional and transportation facilities.
The practice designed a simple layout for a one bedroom unit in a development close to a business center, it measured thirty two square meters from its demising walls. It had a toilet and bath, with a provision for a washing machine. There was a single galley kitchen setup with a sink found between provisions for an electric range and a refrigerator. A window aircon opening was provided in the living area and bedroom, which was boarded up prior to installation of the appliances. And the floor was finished with wood patterned vinyl tiles, with smooth prefabricated walls painted in beige.
With budget limited, the existing finishes were maintained such as the wall and floor treatments as well as the existing over head kitchen shelves and under counter cabinets. The program was that basic storage requirements and activity provisions for the users should be provided, as well as a basic furniture layout that would consider the limited space of the area.
The bedroom’s 2.30m clear width was too short to have the bed’s headboard opposite the door, in that position it would also make the occupant directly exposed to the aircon’s airflow which is not desirable. And so the queen sized bed was positioned with the headboard against the window which provided more space coming in from the door and had a more comfortable access to the closet.
A combined TV shelf and study area was placed opposite the living room sofa bed. This cabinet would allow storage of the user’s TV and modern entertainment appliances like, DVD players, Game consoles and Media library. And on the other side it also offered a pull out flat drawer area for work and study.
Opposite to this combined entertainment shelf and study would be a sofa bed, which could accommodate an overnight guest.
Acknowledging the importance of the dining area and the kitchen, it was necessary to provide more storage for foodstuff and personal items and to also have a way to have more work space surface area if the dining table became fully used. And so the refrigerator provision was moved towards the opposite wall and the kitchen counter extended with a provision for a counter height power outlet. A small niche for the refrigerator was made, and the wall would then serve as a divider enabling the dining table to be placed against it.
With the dining table to one side, a storage cabinet was made to accommodate food stuffs and personal items. This cabinet was equipped with slide out work surfaces that could be stand up work areas for food preparation when needed.
In conclusion a One bedroom condominium unit can be a comfortable place to live in, and with the amenities provided such as: twenty four hour security, close proximity to business, and common area maintenance it becomes a viable choice for city living.