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453-square-foot apartment houses two generations, cat, and parrot

A Hong Kong apartment designed to keep pets separated

A woman sits next to a cat in a room with white cabinetry and a mirror. Photo: Sim-Plex Design Studio

This apartment in Hong Kong might be small, but it’s big enough to house two generations, a parrot, and a cat. Sim-Plex Design Studio designed the “Pets Playground” apartment for a couple with a parrot and created space for a parent and her cat to move in, too.

From the outset, the architects had to tackle two big challenges: Creating enough private space for the humans and making sure the bird and cat don’t end up like Tweety Bird and Sylvester.

Living room with light wood interiors Photo: Sim-Plex Design Studio

The 453-square-foot apartment stretches its space thanks to some clever design tricks that separate rooms with moveable walls and convertible furniture. The living room is partitioned into two sections—one flat, one raised—by a sliding fritted glass door. The master bedroom is connected to the raised section, where the parrot also happens to have its cage.

“When the couple needs privacy or the parrot comes out, they can close the sliding doors,” Sim-Plex’s director Patrick Lam told Dezeen. “During dining or family gathering, the sliding doors could be opened to form a large space.”

Woman sitting at kitchen table Photo: Sim-Plex Design Studio

The lower section of the living room connects to the kitchen and bedroom for the elderly mother, making it easy for her to get from room to room without encountering stairs. When everyone wants privacy, they slide the glass door shut, creating two separate zones.

This arrangement benefits the animals, as well, and allows the bird to fly free when the door is shut. The cat, too, has its special place. The mother’s room features a wardrobe with a built-in cat house and shelves with holes that allow the cat to play.

Even the dining room caters to the animals. A cat house sits next to the countertop, and a table slides into the cabinet to make more space for the cat to play—or slides out further to make room for more humans.