A Tiny Apartment in Singapore Maximizes Space With a New Loft

04.15.24 | By
A Tiny Apartment in Singapore Maximizes Space With a New Loft

Metre Architects, a design firm known for its innovative spatial solutions, has pushed the boundaries of conventional design again with their latest project entitled Vessel. Located in Singapore, this new condo apartment underwent renovations to add a loft structure and to tailor the design to the lifestyle needs of the young professional couple who owns it. The pair requested a loft to be added to the compact 41-square-meter space (approx. 441 square feet) with a 4.7-meter-high ceiling (approx. 15-1/2 feet tall) while retaining the existing floor finishes, kitchen, and bathroom for both financial and sustainability reasons.

Modern interior of a home featuring a unique wooden ceiling design with embedded lighting, a staircase, and minimalist furnishings.

Upon entering the condo, visitors are greeted by a linear kitchen running along the left side of the hallway. The loft, which has a lower soffit height than the corridor, is visible from the entryway creating a sense of anticipation and spatial depth from the start. The integration of LED strip lights, along the ribbed joinery on the bottom of the loft, enhances the overall ambience of the small living room underneath it and beyond.

A woman walks through a modern living room with a unique wooden ceiling structure and a staircase on the right.

The loft resides above the living room, which is reached by a clever wood box staircase comprising alternating half steps. The steep angle of the design requires a much smaller footprint than a typical staircase. Space under the stairs was not wasted; Metre Architects added a wall of storage accessed with push-to-open mechanisms that allow the panels to rest flush against the wall without the need for pulls or knobs.

Wooden staircase with cube-shaped steps against a white wall in a modern interior.

A series of tall wooden panels in varying heights arranged in a staggered line on a wooden floor in a room.

A neat home office featuring two monitors on a desk with an ergonomic chair, overhead wooden cabinets, and minimalistic decor.

The loft houses the couple’s home office along one wall with views of the backyard out of their double-height wall of windows on the other side. Amongst the lush greenery in the back, the apartment has a garden patio to enjoy time outdoors.

A serene interior featuring a wooden ledge by large windows overlooking lush greenery, with a small potted plant as decoration.

Aerial view of a person reading on a bed in a modern, compact multi-level apartment with wooden stairs and minimalistic design.

A woman in a raised wooden loft smiles down at a man lounging on a chair in a modern, wood-paneled room with minimalist decor.

A pair of floor recliners in the living room are used in lieu of a larger, traditional sofa to save on space. The original wall that divided the living room from the bedroom has been replaced with sliding fluted-glass doors, allowing for a seamless integration (or separation) of the two spaces as needed. The textured glass allows natural light to pass through while offering the couple privacy when they desire it.

Modern living room with wooden paneled walls and a unique, large ceiling light fixture, featuring cozy chairs and a small table.

A wooden cabinet door partially open, showing a glimpse of the contents inside, with a visible metal handle on the side.

Modern hallway with wooden walls and ceiling featuring linear lighting, leading to a kitchen on the left and an entrance door ahead.

Modern kitchen interior with geometric wooden paneling on walls and ceiling, featuring a vintage tv on a wheeled stand and a hanging pendant light.

The Vessel loft, reminiscent of the construction of a boat, serves as the metaphorical ship that supports the owners through their current phase of life while offering the potential for future occupants to embark on their own journeys within its walls.

Modern wooden slats illuminated from within, creating a warm, ambient glow.

up view of a wood slatted ceiling with embedded lighting under loft

view from small modern bedroom looking out through sliding gladd doors into living room

view from small bedroom looking out through sliding glass doors to small living room with embedded lights in ceiling

side view through small modern living room with two chairs with bedroom behind it

Modern studio apartment with wooden interiors, large windows overlooking greenery, and a young couple engaged in conversation at a small table.

Modern bedroom with large windows, a bed, two chairs, and a desk, overlooking a garden with lush greenery.

angled interior view of small modern apartment with two chairs on floor and woman pushing sliding glass doors open to bedroom

Modern living room featuring two cream chairs, a round wooden table, large glass windows with sheer curtains, and a view of a patio with outdoor furniture.

Modern kitchen with white cabinets and a washroom visible in the background, featuring stylized ceiling lights and a view of greenery outside.

Modern bathroom interior with a glass shower, wooden cabinets, and beige tiles.

Exterior view of modern condo building with white exterior with green trees and plants in front

Photography by Shiya Creative Studio.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.