CHA:COL Creates A Live-work Space In LA Using Hacked Ikea Products


American studio CHA:COL has integrated modified Ikea products into a unit that serves as an office and apartment for two visual artists in Los Angeles.

Known as Toy Loft, the 1,465-square-foot (135 square metre) unit is found on the leading floor of a residential building near the city’s arts district. Finished in 1924, the constructing was formerly a warehouse and toy factory, and was converted into lofts in 2006.

Duarte toy loft office by CHA:COL

The consumers – a husband and wife, each visual artists – bought a single-level unit in the developing and commissioned CHA:COL to remodel it. The former occupant, an artist, had adorned the walls with graffiti and painted the doors and ceiling powder blue.


The aim was to create a versatile reside-work area on a tight budget of \$75,000 (£66,000).

“Our proposal concerned a ‘super compaction’ method,” stated the firm. “Into this single-storey loft, we dropped in a compressed construction created to incorporate every little thing they required.”


The architects used light-gauge steel framing, medium-density fibreboard and site-minimize plywood for the new structure. They also retained the industrial character of the area, which functions concrete columns, a polished concrete floor and exposed ductwork.

Connected story: California tech incubator by CHA:COL discourages occupants from staying too prolonged

An “attic nook” serves as a bedroom, and beneath it, the architects developed a lounge. “The decrease area is also created for sleeping, with operable accordion doors for privacy,” explained the architects. “The whole spot below can be closed off if necessary.”

The decrease degree also is made up of a kitchen, bleachers with storage cubbies, a desk, and a closet with a series of modules that roll on tracks.


“The clients can move all around every single module to configure the closet to their customized settings,” mentioned the company. “To make it even far more configurable, we utilized a deeper area in the back for lesser-utilised storage products.”

“It was fairly difficult to design and style and execute, considering that the closet essential a sprinkler program, fire-proofing and structural support.”


Due to the restrained spending budget, the architects “hacked” Ikea merchandise and employed the elements in numerous places of the loft.

“For practically all cabinetry and hardware (in the kitchen), we chose the simplest Ikea cabinet methods,” the company mentioned. “We then worked backward to design custom-framing, surrounds and even cabinet-facing components, to type a hybrid method.”


They utilised the same approach for the hallway shelving. “We yet again chose basic Ikea shelving modules, then developed help framing and concealed hardware drawer fronts,” explained the company.

“The contractor had a lot to say to us by the finish of it, but it aided hold charges and scope in handle.”


Ikea “hacks” – in which designers adapt standard goods from the Swedish flat-pack furnishings giant to produce new fittings and fixtures – have turn into more and more mainstream. Danish organization Reform is devoted to customising Ikea’s Metod kitchen, and not too long ago invited three of Denmark’s best architecture companies to generate patterns for its assortment.

Other examples consist of a pop-up restaurant made from hacked shelving, and a bar constructed using translucent plastic storage boxes.

CHA:COL, a multidisciplinary practice, was founded in 2006 by the husband and wife group of Apurva Pande and Chinmaya Misra. Pande started his job in the office of Frank Gehry while Misra worked at Jerde Partnership and Gensler.

Photography is by Edward Duarte, Duarte Photograph.

Task credits:

Design and style: CHA:COL
Standard contractor: Taz Construction
Engineer: Sanjar Saljooghi

Duarte-loft-office-by-CHA-COL_dezeen_1Axonometric prepare Dezeen


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