A Loft Mezzanine Cleverly Enlarges This Small Beijing Flat

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Awkward sloping ceilings are put to good use in this family apartment known as the Starburst House in Beijing, China.

When a young couple purchased a 1,259-square-feet apartment in Beijing’s Haidian District, there was one element they knew would need to be fixed immediately in order to maximize the small space: the steep, sloping ceilings. 

After turning to Taiwanese–based HAO Design Studio, the founder of the firm, Ivan Chen, thought the slanting, asymmetrically pitched roof—which resulted in the sloping ceilings—was one of the apartment’s most beautiful features, so he decided to insert a mezzanine area to take full advantage of the unusual dimensions.

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Large wood-framed windows with multi-plane glass help bring more light into the interiors. 

Large wood-framed windows with multi-plane glass help bring more light into the interiors. 

Not only did the team make the most of the slanted ceilings by creating a cleverly designed lofted area, they have also redesigned the flat to accommodate the family's "open-ended, unfixed, and flexible" lifestyle. 

The open-plan living, dining, and kitchen spaces are located on the ground floor. 

The open-plan living, dining, and kitchen spaces are located on the ground floor. 

A light gray sofa sits in the living lounge.

A light gray sofa sits in the living lounge.

Plastic floor tiles, faux stone accents, metal bricks, crisp white walls, and wooden floors come together to give this attic-like apartment—now known as the Starburst House—quaint, cozy vibes.

Sliding doors have been installed between the dining and kitchen area so the two zones can be separated when needed.

Sliding doors have been installed between the dining and kitchen area so the two zones can be separated when needed.

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The open sliding doors of the kitchen and children’s room can flexibly stretch the space, and when fully opened, improve circulation.

The open sliding doors of the kitchen and children’s room can flexibly stretch the space, and when fully opened, improve circulation.

An entryway with perforated walls.

An entryway with perforated walls.

The front of the wall that separates the kitchen from this playroom is a chalkboard where the couple’s son can play and draw.

The front of the wall that separates the kitchen from this playroom is a chalkboard where the couple’s son can play and draw.

The mezzanine is accessed via an industrial-style concrete staircase.

The mezzanine is accessed via an industrial-style concrete staircase.

Across from the living lounge, tucked under the mezzanine study, is a child’s playroom. 

Across from the living lounge, tucked under the mezzanine study, is a child’s playroom. 

Mountain-shaped wall cushions line the wall of this cloistered playroom, echoing the peaked ceiling of the apartment.

Mountain-shaped wall cushions line the wall of this cloistered playroom, echoing the peaked ceiling of the apartment.

The choice of colors and materials work together to create a bright, cheerful, and romantic atmosphere.

The choice of colors and materials work together to create a bright, cheerful, and romantic atmosphere.

The second bathroom is located within the mezzanine.

The second bathroom is located within the mezzanine.

A gray table, mint-green pendant lamp, and pink-and-turquoise dining chairs are located in the dining area.

A gray table, mint-green pendant lamp, and pink-and-turquoise dining chairs are located in the dining area.

The mezzanine loft looks down to the living and dining rooms.

The mezzanine loft looks down to the living and dining rooms.

Built-in shelves run along the entire length of the wall of the mezzanine study loft.

Built-in shelves run along the entire length of the wall of the mezzanine study loft.

The lofted study is an idyllic addition to the floor plan, especially since the husband regularly works from home.

The lofted study is an idyllic addition to the floor plan, especially since the husband regularly works from home.

Here, a timber desk is slotted into a cozy corner in the study loft.

Here, a timber desk is slotted into a cozy corner in the study loft.

The Starburst House Diagram Drawing

The Starburst House Diagram Drawing

The Starburst House Floor Plan

The Starburst House Floor Plan

Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design: HAO Design

Photography: Hey! Cheese / @heycheese.tw