Situated on the roof of a charming period building in Beirut’s Achrafieh district, the aptly-named Shoe Box apartment was designed by studio founder Elie Metni for a client who wanted a clean, serene and simple space that could sleep two guests and accommodate around five people in total, which was a challenge considering its 15-square-metre size.
‘Beirut nowadays became a place where it is hard to find accessible rates for quality accommodation,’ says Metni. ‘That’s why micro-apartments and small spaces start having more and more popularity offering quality spaces. Downsizing became trendy.’
Considering its pint-sized profile, this property still packs a punch when it comes to the spectacular rooftop views it has over Beirut’s historical buildings. The studio has also maximised the access to natural light wherever possible and designed a super-flexible internal space that can perform a multitude of functions depending on the needs of the guests. The overall aim was to create a ‘powerful sense of pleasure, simplicity, ease and efficiency,’ according to Metni.
Even though space is at an absolute premium, there’s still ample room for a double bed, which faces a large window framing the cityscape beyond. The bed also features in-built storage caddies for belongings and plugs – a clever substitute for the bedside table. Over head, there are suspended lights that are perfect for late-night reading, while underneath the bed frame is a pull-out drawer, cupboard and a set of shelves.
For those on business trips, there’s even a desk with bespoke storage created for laptops, stationery and phones, while those looking to relax can sit on the built-in sofa complete with footrest, plus book and magazine storage, a coffee table, bin and cup holder, all neatly tucked away under it.
Got people around for dinner? No problem – there’s still enough space in the two-metre-wide room to have everyone around the fold-out dining table, with chairs and an extra moveable unit-cum-seat. Hidden behind a glass door at one end (designed to let ample light into the heart of the apartment) is the compact bathroom.
The entire apartment has been decorated in a clean, neutral scheme, with white epoxy resin flooring to help bounce light around the room, while the custom-made furniture has been created using white laminated plywood.
Planning a trip to Beirut? The property is available to rent out on Airbnb from just £40 per night.
To see more of Eliemetni’s projects, check out the website here.
To see more ways to maximise compact interiors, read this article on 15 space-saving tips for city apartments, plus take inspiration from this 25-metre apartment in Barcelona.