House hunting can be a daunting experience, regardless of where you’re from and where you’re searching, be it Lagos, Luanda, Los Alamos or Lyon. However, one peculiar thing I find about Lagos (and most of Nigeria) is the unavailability of properly planned and designed Studio Apartments. Yes, I know we have the legendary “face-me-I-face-you” blocks and even 1 bedroom apartments that remain few and far between, but, a proper Studio flat is still elusive, if at all it exists on the market.
To this end, I’d like to present 2 designs that, in my opinion, typify what a well planned studio apartment should look like, with proper space management and smart design. Granted they made need amendments here and there to suite the Nigerian Context (as well as any other socio cultural context in which they find themselves) but the overall structure and size is pretty good. The first design is from int2architecture, while the second is by designer Art Ugol.
FLAT 1 by INT2ARCHITECTURE
What I like about this apartment is the use of smart furniture in the sleeping area. It doubles as a loft-bed for a 1600 wide mattress as well as a generous work space for two with storage in every nook and cranny, including its raised floor. The entertainment/sitting area also enjoys this storage as sliding doors on that face reveal even more storage space. The cooking area is nice and simple with a cute dining area adjacent, while you can also enjoy outdoor dining on the terrace. The Bathroom is Large and spacious, and theres even room for a dedicated laundry. All of this delightful amenity is wrapped up in roughly 41sqm.
FLAT 2 by ART UGOL
This design offers a bit more privacy for the sleeping area, with a dark curtain, but, I fear it loses out on the light and ventilation as seen the previous design. However, the living area and kitchen make up for this thanks to the daylight coming through large windows and a fairly large terrace. No dedicated Laundry features, but you will find space for your washing machine in the fairly large bathroom, or if you like yours in the kitchen, theres more than enough room for it. The wall treatment of the Kitchen/Bathroom wall is one of the most notable features in this design, commanding attention and adding character to the space. I’m not too crazy about the location of the T.V. but I’m guessing it was the easiest of choices with regards to available wall space. Material finishes and the general interior decor are top notch and offer a classy, textured and comfortable contemporary apartment.
The designs to a large extent speak for themselves. They are smart and simple, well laid out and comfortable. I understand lifestyles differ all over the world, and culture tends to dicate architecture, but, nothing here differs wildly from the needs of singles and young couples in Nigeria today. This demographic adds up to about 40 – 50 million people, so even 10% of that makes for a large enough market that developers and architects should consider and provide for. Blocks of flats shouldn’t be limited to 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms but also studio flats that would cater to this very available market, instead of relegating them to the various ‘Boys Quarters’ that sit behind the aforementioned blocks. I, for one, look forward to seeing more developments like this in the future and will work towards making them a reality.