November 30, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Are these the limits of minimal living space? Small apartment that does not require cleaning and a mortgage

The mission of Jacob Heidler, owner and architect in one person, was clear – the 20-square-meter apartment had all the needs of two young men who had been traveling for two millennia, wanting to live close to the center, but without the ‘fat mortgage.’ Does it seem impossible to you? This original apartment will convince you otherwise.

When Jacob bought a small apartment, he, as an architect, could experiment with solutions that the average client might not welcome. Whether it is the use of black and steel paint, but also scratched plaster, a stainless steel grille instead of a railing, a glazed bathroom with toilet, a library of crosses, or a bicycle suspended above the seat. Apartment area 20 m2 It is an experience in itself.

The main living space in full height is as close as possible to the window – the light source. Thanks to this, the apartment is light and airy. Scratching plaster on parts of the walls reveals traces of centuries of history. Source: Jerry Lisler

Thus Jacob set himself the task of finding the limits of the minimum living space and was able to try for himself what worked and what did not. “Ownership obliges you. Buying an apartment, you own it, and then he starts owning it. Therefore, it is small and easy to clean and mortgage. It is a modern approach to life, when at a young age we spend time with friends, on trips, at work and looking for adventure,” He explains his reasons for buying an apartment with such a small area.

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“At the same time, the smaller space forces you to spend time outside, to enjoy life and not experience it indoors. So a proper bed, a small kitchen and a spacious shower are the three basic elements – the only things they should not be lacking.” Add.

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According to the architect and owner in one person, there are other valuable things in his apartment than the appearance of the interior. First of all, it is a beautiful location of Vinohrady in Prague on the border of the development of buildings and villas, full of parks and trees in the streets. The apartment is on the ground floor and faces the courtyard, so just run seven steps and someone is having breakfast on the lawn in the adjacent courtyard and talking to the neighbors behind the fence. The common areas of the apartment building have a spacious entrance, beautiful tiles, stucco floors and beautiful doors with plump angels and cast iron balustrades.

Gray sofa with city bike hanging on it

The only white wall is destined to hang a picture. However, it has replaced the folding city bike with a range that hits the edge of town and back. Source: Jerry Lisler

The space was originally used by the administrator – a change can already be seen in the historical plans, the cross walls appearing red on wax canvas so that the space is 20 meters2 Cut out a large apartment plus create a small apartment for the guard, caretaker. And the newly purchased property was in tatters, as evidenced, for example, by the original location of the toilet “sewn up” on the stairs. Therefore, the in-depth reconstruction included new sewage systems with increased capacity, the introduction of a new water supply pipe, as well as bathroom ventilation and a fume hood to the old chimney, which no longer performs its original function. Outdated electrical wires, aluminum. They were replaced by copper and a three-phase supply.

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As far as the interior is concerned, the aforementioned desire to experiment and push the boundaries of what we tend to perceive a priori as very little living space has been fully manifested here. The “black dragon” dominated the interior, as Jacob calls the building that dominates the space. “You can climb his back to the sleeping floor. The innards of the beast hide a small bath that glows through clear wired glass.” Determines the architect.

Dark bathroom with concrete basin

The bathroom is level with the floor, so it does not need to have a clearly defined place in the mini-bath. Source: Jerry Lisler

The staircase, library, and bathroom cabinet are made by carpenters, and the rest is by IKEA. However, even a small apartment deserves the smallest detail. And so the combined things are of high quality – it is a pleasure to touch ceramic keys, to walk barefoot on a solid oak floor, to wash your hands in a thin concrete shell. The bathroom is on the same floor level, and a wired glass wall lets in plenty of daylight into the bathroom. Like the stainless steel mesh, which replaces the necessary handrails on the floor – it is 100% safe, yet breathable and transparent. The hanging folding bike is a convenient aid for moving around the city center. Scratched plaster reveals ancient deposits of time a hundred years from the past, and around the window are visible colored edges, which were once in vogue.

The property is binding on you. By buying an apartment, you own it, and then he starts owning it. Therefore, it is small, easy to clean and mortgage. It is a modern approach to life, when at an early age we spend time with friends, on trips, at work and searching for adventure.

Jacob, Architect and Owner

The satisfied owner finally admits that not everything went quite smoothly. The reconstruction did not pass without a little controversy linked to the approval of the owners association. But in the end, everything went well – the architect was able to convince the inhabitants of the house that he had experience in rebuilding the head and heel, in addition, he helped the carpenter renovate the door in the common areas. Negative relationships have turned into a pleasant neighborhood and everything has a good ending.

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Apartment with usable area 20 m2 In Prague in Vinohrady


Jakub Heidler and Tereza Komárková from Studio Reaktor, in collaboration with Stanislav Heidler and Blanka Heidlerová

Text: Jacob Heidler, Editing by Lucia Blasiova

Photo: Jerry Lisler

Source: Wave Dome Magazine