At just under 700 square feet, Wonbo Woo's loft apartment was, by New York standards, actually fairly large. It wasn't the size but the shape that was the issue, because what, exactly, do you do with a space that's 50 feet long and only 12.5 feet wide? Fortunately, Woo's father is an architect, and one particularly skilled in solving spatial puzzles like this one.
The apartment's original layout was kind of a mess. The kitchen and bathroom were positioned immediately inside the front door, with a drop-in ceiling above that obscured the space's full height. Next you came upon a sleeping loft, with an awkward five-foot-high storage enclosure below. The space's 12-foot ceiling height meant that it was tricky to stack two full-height spaces on top of each other. Additionally, the back side of the sleeping loft was a solid wall, which blocked any light coming into the kitchen.
Woo's father, architect Kyu Sung Woo, first removed all the existing interior walls. Then, he came up with a very clever solution for a full-height kitchen with a full-height sleeping space above—two 7-foot volumes in a 12-foot high space. This was achieved with a very clever trick. The bedroom's little sliver of floor space, where you can stand upright, is positioned over a closet (accessed from the hallway on the right) and the kitchen's refrigerator. The space above the kitchen becomes a platform for Woo's bed, raised a couple of feet above the floor space. A smaller, single bed for guests is positioned above the unit's bathroom, and accessible from the same stair as the main bedroom.
This configuration allows the rest of the loft to be completely open—and allows natural light from the unit's windows to reach even the very back of the space. (A glass partition allows light into the bedroom, and keeps Woo from falling out of bed.) It's an elegant solution that takes this apartment from a series of chopped-up rooms to one long, elegant space.
To see more photos, and read more about the apartment's transformation, check out the full tour at Dwell.