The Japanese garden makes use of curved paths and hidden pockets to create the perception of depth in a constrained and limited backyard. The idea of stepping through a door into a room, only to find another door leading to another room with another door, gives us the same experience of curiosity and perhaps intensifies the movement through a small space. We were held by the idea that we could stumble into a secret garden.

In the case of the studio apartment that we were presented with, the bedroom seemed to be the focus of our design in this rather small overall footprint of the tiny house. The privacy of the bedroom was to be hidden behind a door, where a timber wall (with hidden compartments) guides the way pass the bathroom and up onto a raised platform (packed full no less, with more concealed storage). Up on the platform, a Japanese-styled bed rests within a cosy alcove, much like the discovery of a secret garden. But it does not stop here: another room is revealed behind sliding doors – the platform steps down again into a miniature walk-in-wardrobe, an intimate space that doubles as a makeup and grooming area.

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