Kuwait micro-apartment makes the most of 3m-wide urban site

A micro-apartment design by Studio Madouh elevates a neglected, awkward urban plot in Kuwait to an architecturally rich housing prototype 

micro-apartment in Kuwait
(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

Offering a design-led solution for an awkward urban plot in Rawda, Kuwait, this boutique residential architecture project is the brainchild of Studio Madouh. The Kuwait and New York architecture studio was invited to work on the challenging – just 3m wide – plot and used it to create an experimental prototype for city living, a micro-apartment design occupying an otherwise unused piece of land inbetween existing structures. 

The unit promotes an apartment interior design that is time and cost effective to build, explain the architecture team, and offers practical solutions to spatial but also financial issues that often affect city dwellers.

Micro-apartment is a prototype for urban living

Named Duplex AO (DAO), the scheme presents an example of how the concept might work, set here on the side of an existing residential building – running across one side of the plot, where an old storage structure used to be. The idea is that this duplex apartment can be multiplied and adapted or scaled up to fit various different sites. 

micro house in Kuwait with pronounced angles

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

‘Despite the difficult dimensions, law restrictions, and low economical resources, DAO has successfully triggered unexpected spatial values that provoke rather new forms of sustainable micro-living,’ say the architects. This is combined with ‘economically viable and energy-efficient green solutions that helped raise awareness in the region regarding critical environmental matters’, they add. 

The micro-apartment features an entrance hall that leads to a reception, a kitchen, and a gym (which may also be used as a second bedroom or a study). Located upstairs is the master bedroom and the bathroom. Stepping out from the bedroom into the generous balcony, residents can enjoy the outdoors in a private, sheltered setting, carved out by the apartment’s dramatic, angled facade – a feature that defines the prototype micro-apartment’s volume and highlights the dynamic nature of the overall concept.

angled facade of micro house in Kuwait

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

terrace looking out on micro house in Kuwait

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

corridor with angled window in micro house in Kuwait

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

compact kitchen at micro house in Kuwait

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)

interior with different levels at micro house in Kuwait

(Image credit: Studio Madouh)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).