Back in the spring of 2009, when freelance photographer Jérémie Buchholtz was looking for a place to live, desirable options seemed few and far between. There were scarcely any affordable properties to be had in Paris, where work often takes him, and his native Bordeaux wasn't that much better. His search eventually led him to a run-down old garage at the end of a quiet, cobbled Bordeaux street, which was priced at 80,000 euros ($107,000), less than half the cost of a comparably sized apartment in the area. After a transformation by Fabre/deMarien, a local architecture firm that specializes in converting commercial properties into homes, Buchholtz was left with a 441-square-foot studio with a sweet interior patio and a few pretty innovative space-saving features.
The total construction bill, including custom furniture, fitting, and fixtures by Fabre/deMarien, came to 140,000 euros ($187,362). ("I could maybe have bought a portable toilet in Paris for the same price," Buchholtz once deadpanned to the New York Times.) This also took into account the $12,044 creation of the facade, in place of what used to be a "forbidding metal barricade." Now, the front of the structure has a sliding pine door on aluminum runners that conceals the glass-fronted entryway and indoor patio, itself a compliance to Bordeaux laws that require each home to have a parking spot big enough for one vehicle.
For $12,565, a large wooden cube was built for the apartment that consolidates most all Buchholtz's needs into one large piece of furniture. On the inside there's a bathroom, laundry, and a dressing room, while the exterior has a built-in desk, a sofa, loads of cabinets, and a recessed sleeping area on top. "By combining all the factors of living in this self-contained cube — such as sleeping, washing, working and storing — we kept all of the necessities of Jérémie's life in one place," architect Matthieu de Marien explained to the Times. "By building upwards towards the roof and internally into the heart of the cube, we had no need to spread these aspects throughout the living area." A conversion project resulting in a tiny home that also incorporates the "houses within houses" trend: a triple threat if ever there was one.
· Converted Parking Garage Home [Tiny House Swoon]
· A Garage Converted to a Bachelor Pad [NYT]
· All Bordeux coverage [Curbed National]
· All conversions coverage [Curbed National]
· All micro homes coverage [Curbed National]