In the ever-evolving technology landscape, everything is getting smaller. From the pictures we take to the music we listen to, many of our most treasured belongings can now fit into the palm of our hand. With urbanisation, population growth and rising house prices creating major housing challenges in cities across the globe, our homes too now face “the big shrink”. Like their technological counterparts, however, the new era of micro-homes can mean smarter, more efficient and even more enjoyable living.
The key to ensuring small living spaces works is good design. Transformable furniture that adapts to different uses, clever space maximisation and access to outdoor space all have their role to play. If designed successfully, smaller houses can provide both comfort and affordability. Additionally, with 66% of the World’s population in 2050 expected to live in urban areas and cities already buckling under the current housing shortage, micro-homes are increasingly becoming necessary to cope with the population challenges of the future (United Nations World Prospects Report, 2014).
India’s housing challenge is particularly concerning, with an estimated shortage of 20 million homes across the country (BBC, 2015). Policy makers have finally taken notice, with the headline slogan “Housing for All by 2022” displaying the government’s new commitment to tackle this acute shortage. While the scale of the task at hand is immense, smartly designed microhomes can provide a vital piece of the puzzle in ensuring this rhetoric becomes reality.
Having long pioneered affordable housing in India’s largest cities, Xrbia’s transition into compact housing solutions has been a natural step forward. One of our most recent developments, Chembur Central, has been designed with the help of the renowned architect, Hafeez Contractor, to provide state-of-the-art compact homes for the next generation of homeowners.Alongside excellent space planning that has left no space left underutilised, the apartments at Chembur central have been kitted out with innovative space-saving furniture. The beds, for example, conveniently fold into the wall, transforming into a spacious play area for children. Enabling rooms to adapt to different uses ensures the homes feel comfortable, not cramped, throughout the day.
Xrbia understands that it is not just the design of the buildings, but also their surroundings that make people feel at home. For this reason, the project combines innovative compact homes with generous communal infrastructure to provide ample breathing space for residents. Indeed, the impressive array of amenities is more typical of a five-star hotel than an affordable housing project.
The vast array of facilities includes a 150-meter-long swimming pool, a gym, a jogging track and a rock climbing wall. The project similarly caters to those that enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, with an orchard walk, artificial beach, sky garden and meditation room creating an oasis of tranquillity amidst the bustle of city life. With ample green space on your doorstep, residents never have to feel constrained within their apartments.
The 5,000-home development offering two types of one-bedroom apartments of 186 sqft and 247 sqft, as well as a two-bedroom apartment of 306 sqft, has unsurprisingly attracted a lot of interest from millennial buyers. For this generation, well-designed compact spaces are becoming increasingly popular as new buyers crave flexibility, convenience and affordability in every aspect of their lives.
Of course, the issue of cost is unavoidable, and Xrbia’s innovative compact home design has injected some much-needed affordability into the real estate market. By choosing to live in a compact home, homeowners can achieve the convenience of city centre living at a reasonable cost, while answering society’s need for greater energy and space efficiency.
A revolution is taking place in the way we live, and compact no longer has to mean cramped. Skilfully designed micro-apartments that combine adaptable interiors with spacious exteriors can ensure that smaller homes provide just as much comfort and privacy as their bulkier predecessors, and all for a more affordable price.
By Mr. Rahul Nahar, Founder, Xrbia Developers Ltd.