In the small town of Tvarna, Slovakia—about an hour and a half east of Vienna by car—this modest, 1,000-square-foot apartment is the work of local firm JRKVC, whose work, according to the firm’s website, is all about remixing traditional spatial arrangements to make modern homes feel fresh and maximize their living areas.
Here, the firm turned a former 18th-century monastery into a modern home for a couple with no children so far, but whose open plan can be broken up to create a three-bedroom flat in the future. One particular design move that makes a big impact in the apartment: a door-like built-in shelf that swings open to lead to a second bedroom and bath. Custom manufactured for the space, the shelves reach the full height of the space—3.6 meters (nearly 12 feet) and their black borders and light-gray interiors give the system a cool, graphic look.
While 1,000 square feet is sizable by city standards, where apartments can easily clock in at a mere 500 square feet, the storage system deployed here has some serious applications for compact spaces. Into it? Here are a few similar homes we’ve explored recently, from a Paris apartment for a young family with angular built-in shelves to a Japanese house that maximizes square footage by building up!