Appartement Spectral Uses Artificial Lighting to Create Warmth

With 21,196 people per square kilometre (54,899 per square mile), Paris is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, so it’s no surprise people are making use of every space available to them for housing. This apartment, called Appartement Spectral, underwent a renovation in 2013 lead by the architecture studio, BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY.


Appartement Spectral - BETILLON DORVAL‐BORY - Paris - France - Tiny Apartment - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Appartement Spectral contains a total usable floor space of just 20 square meters (215 square feet). The owner of the previously disused and run-down studio asked Betillon / Dorval-Bory to intervene, and to transform the ramshackle site into a home.


Appartement Spectral - BETILLON DORVAL‐BORY - Paris - France - Tiny Apartment - Shower - Humble Homes

One aspect of the restoration that was of particular interest to the client, was the lack of natural light. To address this the architects developed the design with the aim of allow light to filter throughout the studio apartment unimpeded by walls and partitions, and also supported by artificial lighting.


Appartement Spectral - BETILLON DORVAL‐BORY - Paris - France - Tiny Apartment - Loft - Humble Homes

The result is a wholly open living space (apart from the toilet), that features artificial lighting used not only functional purposes, but also as a decorative item that can change the “mood” of the spaces. To allow light to flow freely between living areas, sections of the home are partially “walled-off” for the more private areas, such as the shower.

Appartement Spectral - BETILLON DORVAL‐BORY - Paris - France - Tiny Apartment - Loft Cantilever Staircase - Humble Homes

The cantilever staircase with open risers supports the “open” approach to the design (and also provides a view of whoever’s in the shower). The walls, floors, ceilings and even furnishings have been finished in a bright white, which is probably overkill for some people. In fact, the only item that adds any real color to Appartement Spectral is the artificial lighting, which is used to create warm hues of yellow.

Appartement Spectral - BETILLON DORVAL‐BORY - Paris - France - Tiny Apartment - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The interior contains a kitchen and dining area, toilet with a shower to the rear, and a sleeping loft. Somewhat unusually, there is no living room or space for relaxing. Although the pictures do show people making use of the stairs as a chill-out spot, but it’s probably not the most comfortable of hangouts. The total cost of the renovation came to €33,000 excluding VAT (about $45,000).

For more apartments check out this other tiny house from Paris, called Tower Apartment, that’s split over several levels. Or this tiny apartment set along the Italian Riviera and designed by Gosplan Architects. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Definitely has that clean, modern look. I’m definitely more into COZYYYY :) Love the use of small space, but needs a few rugs or something :)

  2. Clean tidy look , but a little too austere for comfortable living.
    Needs a daybed at the very least.