Video: Incredibly efficient efficiency

Last year, we wrote about Architect Gary Chang’s amazing 344 square-foot apartment with sliding walls. We recently discovered that Chang let video crews into his Hong Kong apartment, and now we can see his design in action:

Chang’s tiny apartment is proof that small-space living doesn’t prevent someone from living large. If you can’t see the embedded video, check it out on YouTube.

32 Comments for “Video: Incredibly efficient efficiency”

  1. posted by Shalin on

    I heard about this last year sometime and thought it was really cool. Didn’t see the video until now…it’s just amazing, mesmerizing, and soooooo clever…

    I hereby request an Unclutterer interview of him soon! 🙂


  2. posted by Lose That Girl on

    Wow!!!!! I’d love to see it in person! What a smart fella.

  3. posted by timgray on

    This is utterly inspirational. I love how he has a place for everything and uses technology as well. I personally would have had all my music CD’s ripped into a media center to play them and free up that shelf space, but his passion might be collecting the CD’s and having them in his living space may be what he was after.

    I Love it!

  4. posted by Julie on

    So cool! Thanks for sharing this. I love seeing small spaces used to their maximum potential.

  5. posted by George on

    How gorgeous is this – especially the screening room – great for film watching! I’m glad to see the video so I can understand it more.

  6. posted by Sandman on

    This would be kind of annoying when I wanted a drink at 2AM. Or if I was halfway through a project and needed to sleep.

  7. posted by Sky on

    Incredibly inspiring! The most efficient use of space I’ve ever seen. Makes me wonder why I have so many rooms and 1800 square feet!

  8. posted by *pol on

    That was really inspirational!
    Completely fabulous for a single person (that is good at keeping things off the floor).
    It all looks like it is of excellent quality construction too.

  9. posted by marctaro on

    I wonder – (but will likely never know)
    how much did all that custom cabinetry cost!?!
    also, if he has to move – does it fit out the door?

  10. posted by Luke @ on

    Unbelievably stunning… I would love to do something like this in the future… I wonder how this could be combined with the tinyhouse movement? Amazing possibilities.

  11. posted by Anthony on

    Great idea; but a bit to modern and analytical for me. I heard about this place last year and am glad to have finally seen it; it is very efficient though and good inspiration for people (like me and my family of three) to pare down our living.

  12. posted by SLY on

    I just saw this on Apartment Therapy. I saw it last year when you all posted it but I couldn’t remember where i had seen it at. I have been telling a co-worker about this apartment for six months now and could not find the link for the life of me. I’m glad to have found it now and the video is great.

  13. posted by L. on

    The small size of his space still makes me claustrophobic, but I know that attitude is a luxury on my part, and his innovation is inspirational.

    It does look time-consuming to switch between “rooms,” but I assume he saves a lot of other time in other ways … like not having to clean an enormous home! It looks expensive as well, but similarly, he’s probably saved a lot of money by remaining in this particular living space, as I think it was inherited from his parents.

  14. posted by steve crane on

    wow! -how incredible.This is a solution for people wanting to live in London,New York etc where space is at a premium.I agree with Shalin-look forward to an interview on unclutterer in the future

  15. posted by Bonni on

    I saw you on Rachel Ray today! Congratulations! Good job!!

  16. posted by Amy on

    HGTV used to have a show called “Small Space Big Style” and they would sometimes show Japanese people’s little homes, snd this reminds me of that.

    This is the coolest film clip I have seen in a while. Even if you have more space than this man, and most of us do, the ideas for organizing would translate well to any small space.

    My house is small and I love watching stuff like this for the ideas! Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  17. posted by Amazed Aunty on

    Wow this is so cool.

    I’ve never found small homes to be too appealing but if it is used in this way, it certainly makes the place very livable.

    I don’t agree with many of the caveats here. Living in small spaces requires a compromise, and this seems to be the most efficient and aesthetically appealing one out of any I’ve seen.

  18. posted by Lynne on

    One of my favourite TV programs and that apartment is Wow!

  19. posted by Another Deb on

    In one office I visited there were banks of bookshelves that slid into each other like this man’s house. I always thought it was so cool! If only we could set up closets or offices like that.

    I can steal ideas from this without having to remodel. If you have a cabinet/armoire on wheels, the back of the cabinet can be outfitted with a fold-down work surface, or art, or a flat-screen TV. A corner unit can be a triangular storage area a la an old Christopher Lowell project I saw.

  20. posted by Ajana on

    Here in Hong Kong, many people will look at that place and say “all that space for only one person”. These units were built small (lack of space in HK) and quickly to accommodate massive influxes of refugees from China during the 1960s. Multiple generations lived – and still live – in them. Ultmiately, we make do with the spaces we live in, whether that’s 355 sf or 3550 sf. He’s done it far better than most.

  21. posted by Adventure-Some Matthew on

    I remember reading about this apartment before, and wishing that I could see it in action. Yay for fulfilled dreams!

    This is quite an interesting apartment, parts of which I would be interested in utilizing in my future living spaces. (I certainly like the idea of the Murphy/fold-away bed.) However, my wife is not such a fan of that concept.

    As an avid hammocker, I love the hammock indoors!

  22. posted by Melanie on

    I did not count 24 rooms; even with all the possible configurations. It is rare for even the largest homes in America to have 24 rooms, so I don’t quite understand what he is trying to compare it to.

    My current home has 4 rooms and my last home had 8 rooms.

    I do think this is clever, in a student project/conceptual art sort of way. But the moving walls are impractical for day-to-day activities. I once lived in a trailer that had one moving wall (that contained a closet) that allowed you to convert it from a one bedroom to a two bedroom. But it was something you would do on a semi-permanent basis. Not something that you would do every day just to be able to sleep or to make a cup of coffee.

    I also love the indoor hammock and wish I could persuade my husband to allow me to hang one of mine inside.

  23. posted by JC on

    I was lucky to grow up in a rural wooded area and currently live semi-rural area where we have a quiet house on some undeveloped acreage. This man has done wonderful things with his apartment, but I honestly think I would go mad living in such a densely populated place.

  24. posted by karen gee on

    I love all the efficiency. He obviously uses high-quality materials to achieve this. I’m not sure what’s so “green” about it, though, unless it’s just the fact that he uses relatively little space. All that custom engineering and metal has a huge cost in manufacture, which may or may not be all that efficient or green.

    I don’t see this in my budget, frankly, though I find it’s ideas desirable.

  25. posted by Taylor on

    Erin baby, you’ve got to get an interview with this guy. That’s uberultraminimalism! What can we do to integrate some of that schnazz into our dumpy dives? Great job on Rachel Ray too, BTW,… Rrrrar!

  26. posted by JJ on

    What clever, clever ideas! Thanks for sharing the link!

  27. posted by H on

    clever? yes, very much. but i’d go crazy living there, flipping this, flipping it back, moving this, moving that. it never ends. still an inspiration though.

  28. posted by Tickled Red on

    This is absolutely amazing! It gives me hope for my small space of 1200sq ft. I love your blog and book 🙂

  29. posted by Friday Faves: (on sunday) » LIFEOGRAPHY | Virginia Beach + Norfolk's Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child photographer on

    […] of compact living, this video is amazing. Check out the architect that made 23 rooms out of one in his 344-square-foot […]

  30. posted by Chris on

    I have lived in HK before. Space is at a premium and this kind of living is pretty normal for people in these “Asian Megalopolises”. It seems by our western standards to be inconvenient, but re-configuring your space is a common practice for those who live in these small places. Most “rooms” in HK flats are smaller than the configurations he has for their equivalents.

    As for the “eco-friendly” aspect? I suspect it is because he did not move into a bigger place which presumably would have a larger power footprint. HK is a pretty hot place 10 months of the year and it is much more efficient to either cool or heat a smaller space.

  31. posted by carrie chang,floral lab,boston on

    gary chang is an inventiveness, creative architect of course it’s not only show his eco-concept but the maximum possibility in multi-rooms concept in one room; of course he uses his place for the experience. this home bring his/my childhood grown up together memories (he is my real brother and i am his real youngest sister).

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