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© Marwan Harmouch
© Marwan Harmouch

You Can Stay in This Tiny Shoe Box Apartment on a Rooftop in Beirut

Picture of Charlotte Luxford
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 7 February 2018

Like the rest of the world’s popular cities, Beirut’s property market has spiralled out of control, making it hard to find affordable accommodation in the city. However, Lebanese studio Eliemetni are trying to combat the problem with their new 15-square-metre micro apartment, providing guests with all the creature comforts of a super-stylish space at an affordable price.

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

‘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.’

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.

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© Marwan Harmouch

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.