A Tiny Italian Flat Undergoes a Modern Revamp For $40K

Simplistic plywood paneling cleverly conceals a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area in this compact 301-square-foot studio.

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. 

To make the living area feel much more open and comfortable, the architects have created minimal service areas that are hidden when the batipin-plwood panels are closed.

White resin has been used for the flooring in the living room.

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. 

One of the wall panels is a Murphy bed.

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. 

One of the walls hides a pull-out sofa and a wardrobe.

"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.

Synthetic grass has been used for the balcony floor.

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. 

A look at the pinewood-paneled corridor that leads into the kitchen.

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. 

A light blue resin has been chosen for the floors, walls, and ceilings in both the kitchen and bathroom.

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 lighting fixture was made by Studio Wok.

The apartment was completed for just $40,234, with most of the loose furniture being sourced from IKEA. 

The floor plan can adapt to different occasions and times of the day.

Project Credits: 

Architect: Studio Wok / @studio_wok

Builder: Edil 2000 snc 

Carpentry: Arredo 90 srl 

Windows: Fratelli Rusconi snc


Last Updated

Get the Renovations Newsletter

From warehouse conversions to rehabbed midcentury gems, to expert advice and budget breakdowns, the renovation newsletter serves up the inspiration you need to tackle your next project.