It’s Niels Stevens again with an exciting Proptechaweek contribution!
Every year our earth gets more populated. With the increase of people, there’s a rising demand for housing. Hong Kong is a prime example when it comes to a big population density with over 6.500 people per square kilometer. One of the problems we face today is the limited space we have available to create big open spaces for everyone.
ORI’s goal is to live large in a small footprint. They’re coming up with new innovative designs which create larger open spaces in our homes.
ORI currently has 2 big products that help transform an apartment so they feel bigger.
Their first design is the cloud bed. This is a Murphy bed that is tucked away in the ceiling. When the bed is up, the space can be used as a living room and when it is down it’s the bedroom. Because the bed is stored in the ceiling the couch doesn’t need to be moved every night, and it also takes no additional space in the apartment.
Imagery courtesy ORI
Their second design is called “Pocket office”. This is sliding office allows you to store away your office after working hours. By doing so you create more space for the living/dining room.
Imagery courtesy ORI
ORI’s main selling point is its flexible designs. They can create products that fit any space or any need of the user. Not only can they do this during the construction of the apartment, but they can also do this to existing spaces. They optimize the space simply by reviewing the building plans and then looking for ways to implement the customer’s need, using their products.
The company ORI was founded in September 2015 by Hasier Larrea. He studied at MIT as a Mechanical Engineering. He was also a project manager at the MIT Media Lab where he specialized in architectural robotics. After getting his master’s degree he founded ORI. The concept was inspired by the Japanese folding art, origami. They currently implemented their designs in 55 buildings in the USA and have licensed their technology to the Swedish furniture giant IKEA.
🕵️♀️ Who else?
Inspiration to create more open space and flexible rooms can be found all the way back in 1924 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 1924 architect Gerrit Rietveld (°1888 - +1964) designed the Schröderhuis for Truus Schröder. She was a widow with 3 children and wanted a house that was open but also had enough separate rooms for everyone.
Rietveld designed the house with sliding and folding panels that allowed for rooms to change to what was needed. With these panels, you could create a whole open space or multiple separate rooms. The Schröderhuis still stands today and is open for visitations.
As stated before, Hong Kong has a high population density, the highest being in the central district. LAAB Architects renovated an apartment in central Hong Kong into an apartment with a full kitchen, home cinema, bedroom, bathroom, and even a guest bedroom all in 309 sqft (29m²). They even anticipated space to host a diner party for 8 people.
They redesigned the space over 30 times, each time creating more open space. The designers did this by creating underfloor storage and making items like faucets able to be stored away. This way LAAB architects made an apartment with the same features as every other apartment but with a lot more open space.
By using these products you create a feeling of more space, but the surface stays the same. It is a way of making a more enjoyable home in a limited space.
ORI also lets you control all the parts using a user-friendly app. That way you can switch from office mode to living room mode simply by pushing a button on your phone. You can also use it to dim the lights, play music, etc…
The mechanical parts are invisible, so the whole thing looks seamless. It’s also silent when moving around which is a plus considering these designs are mainly used in apartments. All of their products also undergo extensive safety testing which is definitely needed since there are overhead products with moving parts.
👎 Why not?
Their products are meant for tiny spaces which means that everything will need to be assembled on site. Due to the tiny space, there’s little room for error in the design and the installment of the products.
When moving into a home fitted with ORI products. You won’t be able to reuse much of your stuff like a couch and a bed anymore because everything is custom-made and attached to the apartment. When moving out, you will experience the same issue as you can’t take anything with you.
📚 Further reading?
Let’s hope you don’t forget your significant other when storing away your bed.