Co.Design

Tiny Apartment Is Made With 25,000 Ping-Pong Balls [Slideshow]

Daniel Arsham's apartment in Brooklyn is the only pint-sized place we've ever wanted to live in. It's a mere 90 square feet — that's about big enough to fit a toothbrush — but the decor's so sleek and minimal, we'd trade in our own sardine can in a heartbeat.

The apartment's a loft attached to the offices of Snarkitecture, the cool-kid architecture firm where Arsham is a partner, and it's basically just a room that serves two functions: sleeping and dressing. But oh, what a room it is.

The walls look like great big, pixelated screens that fade from gray to white as you approach the ceiling. On closer inspection, the pixels are actually ping-pong balls — a whopping 25,000 of 'em.* We half expect someone to come out and call a Powerball winner.

The rest of the place is a study in simplicity. Arsham's got a bed with some built-in shelves and a dresser, where he keeps a few clothes. To enter the loft, he climbs a ladder through the office's employee bathroom.

The apartment — which Snarkitecture designed — was built in two months for less than $100 a square foot. That's about $50 cheaper than your average loft. Impressive. Then again, by the looks of it, all they really had to do was shop at the local sporting goods store.

*Several readers have pointed out that ping-pong balls are insanely flammable, ergo not the best room decor, unless you've got some sort of raging death wish. Snarkitecture assures us they took the necessary precautions. Per partner Alex Mustonen: "The spheres have been treated with a fire retardant intumescent coating - a product that is designed to swell in the presence of intense heat in order to prevent the material from burning." Phew! -Eds

[Images courtesy of Snarkitecture]

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7 Comments

  • Stacy Morton

    Leave it to an architect to create a completely black and while living space. Even his clothes match the walls. Interesting way to give such a small space a sense of design, however what happens when you need to wipe down a wall filled with balls?

  • JonathanDark

    There are no 'engineering' details given? Such as the attachment apparatus, the shock absorption, the replacement methods, etc. Or how about taking the aesthetic design a step further, to 'ergonomic innovations' usage such as... a robot with a vacuum end effector that pops the balls back to round after they are squashed by normal movement, little multicolor L.E.D.s inside each ball for low rez video wall animation (useful for music augmentation or circadian clock resets), or a fluid storage nipple at the attachment point, so that both cool and hot water can be pumped through the system to even out his apartment's temperature?? Thanks, need consultation?, we'll do lunch.

  • i4

    Isn't Celluloid from the ping pong balls pretty flameable? I hope the architect don't like to smoke.

  • Stanleywleung

    You are absolutely right. The ping pong balls release toxic gases too. I won't stay in an room like this, for sure.

  • Jason

    Very cool. Would be interesting to know if the ping-pong balls offer any sound dampening characteristics.