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Friday September 16 2011 | the times

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It’s an ideal home (if you go out ... a lot) DAVID COWLARD

Mary Bowers

It might cause a few bumps to the head and there is certainly no room for your old CD collection. However, it will save time on the vacuuming — and there’s nowhere for unwelcome visitors to stay. The Lux Pod, billed as the ultimate in compact living, has 9 sq m of floor space and is one of the smallest flats in London. The two-person apartment, described as “a luxury room on the rocket hotel to Mars” is a capsule 3½m high, with a wet room attached. A bed that hangs 2m above the floor is accessible by a ladder, adding 4m of floor space. Gadgets, slimline and small, include a Bang & Olufsen telephone and plasma television, a built-in audio system, mood lighting, electric blinds and underfloor heating. A £25,000 kitchen consists of a work surface that slides out to reveal the sink and hob beneath. It is one of several buildings open to the public this weekend through Open House London. Others include the BT Tower, London Bridge Station vaults and the Canary Wharf Crossrail site. Judith Abraham created the Lux Pod from a 19th-century box room in the adjoining house in South Kensington, and rents it out as a holiday home. “People have said it’s much larger than they anticipated,” she said. “They always say the same. They walk off a busy high street going into the back of the property and it’s a very tranquil environment.”

The Lux Pod has 9 sq m of floor space — after a rebuild to make it bigger

Storage

Lobby and entrance 0.95 x 0.92m

Living area/ kitchen 2.88 x 2.33m

Toilet/shower 1.56 x 0.88m

The Lux pod Location Glocester Road, South Kensington Price £129 per night or £777 for a week Total area 13m 2 Bedroom 2.71 x 1.43m

The smallest bolthole in London is a former broom cupboard in Knightsbridge which, at 3.4m by 1.5m, is smaller than a snooker table. It has been valued at £200,000. This week the Royal Institute of British Architects criticised “shameful shoebox homes” around the country, saying that the average new three-bedroom house was 8 per cent smaller than the recommended minimum size. Ms Abraham thinks that the Lux Pod could inspire others.The Lux Pod, which is built in a conservation area, has no permission to expand further. In 2002, when the flat was 7 sq m and 2m high, it was offered for sale for £50,000. Today, after being rebuilt slightly bigger, it can be rented for £777 per week. It is just less than a third of the size of a standard room at the Savoy but a quarter of the price. Ms Abraham said that the design of the flat could be used by high-end hotels eager to cash in on travellers on modest budgets. “There’s an argument to put these kind of Lux Pods in small hotels, boutique hotels or even a floor in the hotel itself,” she said. She sought the smallest in everything to achieve “millimetre-conscious” precision. When it comes to the essentials, however, no corners have been cut. “I read that it’s the smallest toilet you can buy,” she said, “but it’s not small at all.” Open House London takes place this weekend; www.openhouselondon.org.uk

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The Times Newspaper: It's an ideal home  

A tongue in cheek article about TheLuxPod apartment in South Kensington, London billed as the ultimate in comapct living at 9sq m of floor s...

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