Researcher constructs 230-square-foot home in lab to show future of living


Tim Antoniuk’s prototype tiny condo re-defines what most would consider a ‘cozy’ living room.

The University of Alberta industrial design researcher has built a 230-square-foot living space in his university lab–including a kitchen, bathroom, sitting area and a fold-down bed–as part of a project to provide a glimpse into what the future of housing could look like.

“But it’s not just for hip millennials,” Antoniuk said, during an interview Tuesday.

“It can be affordable housing for people who need something downtown, close to work where everything can be easily accessed.”

Antoniuk argues Edmonton is at a “tipping point” where we’re going to have to start thinking differently about how we live.

“We’re seeing our downtown transform, but it’s going to get more expensive as property values go up.”

And as values rise, only the wealthy will be able to afford to move in, he added.

“There’s a whole host of issues about affordability and keeping downtown areas vibrant and diverse,” he said. “This could do that.”

He built it to study how tiny homes can be constructed effectively, he said, and members of the public can also come see it, he said.

Antoniuk estimates the condo could be built in the real market for about $150,000 and would be more cost-effective for developers because they can build more units per square foot.

“It’s actually cheaper to buy a micro condo than renting an apartment,” he said.

The condo features a sliding wall, ‘telescoping’ drawers, a washroom, and a bed that retracts from the wall.

If done right, space feels much larger than it is, Antoniuk said.

“People are always surprised when they come check it out — they always say it feels double the size,” he said. “It’s all about making a space feel as beautiful and wonderful as possible.”

Antoniuk hopes to build a tiny condo geared for large families in the future to show the mini spaces can function for them, too.

What you need to make a tiny condo work

Tim Antoniuk describes what you need to make a tiny condo work.


Tim Antoniuk describes what you need to make a tiny condo work.

1: Versatile Kitchen
This isn’t your ordinary kitchen. You still get a sink, stove, and countertop, but you’re also able to pull a TV out from one the cabinets. This can be easily tucked away when you aren’t watching a show, or need to use the kitchen to cook.2: Multipurpose Wall
The wall has a slab of walnut wood embedded in it that can be used as a cutting board, or as a table that seats up to seven. The wall also includes other storage cabinets for clothes, shoes or other possessions you don’t want lying around.3: Wall bed
A tiny condo still means you can sleep on a nice queen-sized bed. The difference, however, is you’ll have stow it away into the wall every day. Once you do that, a foldable couch can be pulled out from underneath the bed.4: Sliding wall
You can’t see it in this photo, but a sliding wall is used to divide the bathroom from the general living space — a necessity when you have to do your business. Sliding walls could also be added in different areas throughout the condo, which would be necessary when you need some alone-time.

If you’re ready for micro-living, start by contacting Murphy Wall Bed USA. Our Wallbeds are built to last.
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