Italian Studio Apartment

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Anna Positano

With a budget of just over R450 000, a 35-square-metre cabin-like studio in La Spezia, Italy, was reorganised into a functional apartment by llabb architecture studio.

Inspired by the way in which boats maximise space, as well as the nautical culture associated with the Ligurian coastal town in which the studio is situated, the apartment has been cleverly divided into separate living and sleeping areas.

A laminated multi-functional “wall” made from marine plywood crosses the apartment’s interior, separating the two areas while simultaneously providing maximum storage space.

Behind the wall is the main sleeping area, supported by structural wooden slats meant to be reminiscent of a whale’s rib cage. The space also features a second sleeping area above the main bedroom, accessed via a short staircase. The “wall” also houses a small technical room and a dressing room/walk-in cupboard, while the main living area features a comfortable sitting room and kitchen.

To see more of llabb’s work, visit