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Space Savers: Today's Home Trends in the Increasingly Congested MManila

Yahoo photos
Since college, I've always been fascinated by well and accurately designed small spaces.

Big houses and mansions were welcome sights, but my heart jumped with delight whenever space savers popped up in classroom discussions at the institute of architecture in FEU.

Small but functional, that was my favorite cup of tea. Even today. I incorporate the concept in my house, workplace, ministry, and martial arts.

Land doesn't increase (except for reclaimed areas, which is a dangerous way of cheating nature), but the population does on a daily basis.

As of 2010, Metro Manila population was said to be growing annually at 2.2 percent, registering 11.8 million plus for that year, says the National Statistics Office. With a land area of 638.6 square kilometers, how much does each of us get if we divide Metro Manila equally among us?

A 2.2 percent annual increase is 259,600 yearly. Correct me if I'm wrong. So, if we're 11.8 million in all in 2010 and it's 2015 now, we're 13,098,000 people now in MManila, more or less. Divide 638.6 square meters by 13,098,000 and we get 4.87 square meters each. Definitely not enough. And add to that the fact that the land is not really equally divided among us. A tiny, minuscule percentage of the rich owns big chunks of the land. So we're left with small, small cuts of land.

That's why, like it or not, space savers have got to be "in" today for most of us. No wonder subdivisions today have lot cuts of not more than 300 square. The common cut is less than a hundred, and in that you get everything---living, dining, kitchen, bedroom, CR, and carport, if there's any left. The tragedy is that, small as it is, most homes are not even designed well. You still see wasted space, nonetheless. Attic ideas are seldom exploited. Lofts or mezzanines are seen as mere added cost.

I was fascinated by the picture above. That small closet enclosure itself is enough to be an entire room. It has a stand-alone functionality---complete with bed, drawers, hangers, storage, and shelves for accessories and books. Just add in a bulb, a small collapsible working desk with mirror underneath, and you have a full room. In a 4 by 4 meter square area with wide windows, you can probably put up 4 to 5 "rooms" like this with common windows.

If you have a a 60 square meter lot, you can build 3 levels (first is the living area, second are the dining and kitchen, third is where the small "closet rooms" are (you can make about 4 to 5 of them), and then have a loft  just a bit above. Then put a roof top and an an attic on top of that. That would be more exciting and awesome to me than mansions constructed from pork barrels.

What if you have a car? Turn your front setback into a garage.


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