The South Korean Officetel

Various countries around the world that have higher population densities have come up with some creative ways to house their residents. Whether it’s the micro apartments in Seattle or the Spilytus in Tokyo these little efficiency apartments have some great ideas that can be utilized in other small living spaces.

One of these tiny spaces is the officetel. These little furnished apartments (usually located in high rise buildings) are specific to South Korea and can usually be found in larger cities such as Seoul. 

An officetel is essentially a studio that combines an apartment and office in one efficient space. What makes a Korean officetel different than most studio apartments are the fine details that make for easier living.

For example, to save space in the tiny kitchen the officetel features pull out shelves with plugs where rice cookers, small microwaves, or coffee makers can be placed. Fridges in the kitchens are also different in that they are integrated into the cabinetry and visually disappear into the wall. Combination washer and dryer units are also usually available. Clothing can be hung to dry in the multifunctional rooms that replace most city’s traditional balconies.

Separating living and working is a challenge in these little places. Officetels have built-in shelving and closets, sliding walls and doors, and strategically placed windows to help with this. Other fun features include an office desk that hides a folding table. 

Most of these apartments also utilize smart technology. Singular systems for heating, cooling, water heaters, and outlets are run from one system. The doorbell and door camera can be controlled from inside and apartment dwellers can even request the elevator from inside their officetel rather than waiting in the hallway for it.

Featured photo by Chosun TKD

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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