berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss
berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss
may 07, 2015

berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss

berlin-based architects spamroom and john paul coss were given the challenge of sensitively updating an art nouveau micro apartment in the german capital. dating back to the early 1900s and measuring only 21m2, the flat was in desperate need of modernization and a spatial reorganization. like many buildings of its area, the original layout split the area into two small, separate rooms — kitchen, bedroom, with shared toilet in an auxiliary area downstairs. former owners had previously altered the space by deciding to replace what was the kitchen with a private bathroom. aside from giving the inhabitants a more convenient bathroom, it exacerbated the already disproportionate floor plan. 

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom
all images © ringo paulusch




to begin, spamroom and john paul coss explored designs that would address modern needs of the occupants and re-distribute rooms in a way that felt balanced and maxed every available centimeter. ideally, the updated home would contain a comfortable living/sleeping area, fully-equipped kitchen with room for storage and other essentials, and a compact bathroom complete with shower and amble discreet storage.

staircase to mezzanine 




in the end, the only way to go about the renovation was with a blank slate. the interior was gutted, neglected floorboards were pulled up and restored, the dust-filled ceiling torn down and replaced, and all sanitary elements re-fitted and modernized. to engage all available space it was decided that stacking parts of the program was necessary, which resulted in the conception of a cosy deck/sleeping mezzanine with additional room for storage. a thin, robust steel staircase braced to the adjacent wall connects the half-level to the main floor and supplements storage with the option to place items there whenever it’s not being used. 

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom



a partially cantilevered steel structure supports the level from below, which adds precious centimeters above. in the space between the weight-bearing forms, is the entirety of the 2m2 bathroom. together, along with kitchen and cabinets, ventilation system, concealed sanitary fittings, storage, entry way, and sliding bathroom door — a substantial island is created and fills the room. in order to give the area its own visual identity, all elements were designed to exist without touching the exterior façade or the flat’s ceiling

berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss
mezzanine level and skyline



the white-washed maritime pine kitchen, though compact, houses all conveniences and appliances required of a modern kitchen. ample storage is provided through overhead cupboards which wrap around the corner into the living room. in the main room, the window sill was extended slightly to function as a working desk with a view of the courtyard beyond. despite the small size, the flat feels well-structured and light, with overlapping horizontal and vertical elements that solve the spatial quandary of the former construction. 

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom
window desk

berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss
living area 

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom
detail: staircase and cupboard

repurposed sliding door and art nouveau tiles 

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom

berlin micro-apartment renovated by spamroom + john paul coss

berlin micro-apartment spamroom john paul coss designboom
floor plan



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.



  • Very, very, very impressive. All of the spaces look remarkably comfortable and, to me, quite adequate.

    Ron Smith says:

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