A Tiny Italian Flat Undergoes a Modern Revamp For $40K
Located just outside of the center of Milan, Batipin Flat is a micro-flat in a 1950s building that condenses the functions of a large apartment into a compact 301-square-foot studio. Designed by Milanese architects Marcello Bondavalli, Nicola Brenna, and Carlo Alberto Tagliabue of Studio Wok, the home gets its namesake from the batipin plywood—a type of pine plywood—that was used to create a box-like wall paneling system to hide the kitchen, bathroom, bed, and built-in furniture.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design
The program is concentrated in one main space defined by kitted-out walls. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that open to a balcony bring in ample natural light and visually enlarges the interiors.
The two batipin-panel walls stow and support all the built-in furniture, including a folding bed, sliding doors that lead to a hidden bathroom and kitchen, a wardrobe, and a space for the air conditioning unit.
"The living area has great flexibility and can change its appearance during various hours of the day, and according to the desired use," notes Brenna.
Brilliant white surfaces in the living area amplifies the light that pours in through the expansive balcony windows, and brings to life the textures of the wooden walls.
The bathroom and kitchen are conceived as two monochromatic blue boxes that contrast with the white walls to create a sense of depth and segregation within the home.
The owner of the flat, who had previously worked with Studio Wok on another project, had a small budget, but gave the architects as much freedom as they needed with the design.
The apartment was completed for just $40,234, with most of the loose furniture being sourced from IKEA.