Courtesy: Sigund Larsen

A box made with the apartment in mind, formed by a patchwork of drawers.

Everyone needs (or demands) their own bit of defensible space. In an increasingly urbanizing world with living conditions becoming ever more dense, that space may not amount to much. Still, the diminutive dimensions  of this private cloister (the smaller, the better, says the “good” urbanist) need not be boring, nor spatially simplistic. On the contrary, such limitations give birth to innovative new designs, like architect Sigund Larsen‘s “Shrine” project, a small wonder of cabinetry that maximizes style and function despite its negligible footprint.

Larsen says the design came from a need to store all his personal affects, from gadgets and keys to a record player and a bottle of whisky. It should be sculptural, yet fully operable, Larsen thought, impelling him to devise a cluster of adjacent, interconnected compartments that could collapse into a solid volume to save space. Using local oak wood, he fashioned the unit piecemeal, working out a complex configuration of internal “courtyards”, each of which could be accessed from the outside.

When opened, the resultant collage of projecting volumes and hinged spaces satisfy Larsen’s sculptural requisite, yet does not inhibit operability. Larsen  likens the pieces to a small house, one whose plan and section are “forced together” into a patchwork of drawers in which one can store all of their little (and big) secrets. So whether you live in a studio or a penthouse, the Shrine becomes “your most private place in the house.”

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

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