A showcase of innovative layout design driven by market research to improve sales and tenant satisfaction for an apartment developer
2021, Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Deandra Farinha, Rory David
We accepted an invitation from an established property developer for innovation in order to ensure greater impact and tenant satisfaction. In an increasingly competitive market sector, their product offering needed a refresh.
Visiting some of their units gave us a better understanding of their challenges. However, rather than make our own assumptions based on our own experience in the residential sector we gathered data from their sales team and development manager as our starting point. Thereafter we decided to conduct a survey to hear directly from the voice of the customer. As the single bedroom unit had the least favorable sales, we focused our energy here and conducted a survey of single bedroom units to better understand how to improve these units.
Here is what we learnt:
This data was used to generate the brief for the redesign of the internal layout of the units while retaining the existing footprint and aesthetic.
Single Bedroom unit
The redesigned single bedroom unit features a utility wall that contains the kitchen, cupboards and a desk. A flexible bedroom space is open to the living space and can be closed off by means of sliding glass doors when mom or guests arrive unannounced! This makes the space feel larger when it’s open. The living space opens onto a generous patio allowing for large glazing bringing light into the unit and creating a sense of space. This unit represents our most extensive intervention with an 80% revision to the unit layout.
Two Bedroom Units
Two bedroom units were divided into two unit types:
- A 2 bed 1 bath unit (2 x 1 unit)
- A 2 bed 2 bath unit. (2 x 2 unit)
The 2 x 2 units were placed on the exterior of the unit block to allow all bathrooms to vent externally as is best practice. The 2 x1 units were positioned in the centre of the unit block, as the bathroom could vent externally onto the walkway.
The redesigned 2 x 1 unit features a shared bathroom and eat-in kitchen and a large balcony off the living area. The eat-in kitchen creates a larger open plan living area to maximise living space. The large balcony is treated as an additional reception room.
Three Bedroom Unit
The 3 bedroom ground floor unit needed the least intervention. The front door was relocated in line with the unit’s internal movement path. Why is this important? It works with the natural paths of movements of inhabitants and reduces dead space. A new linen closet was added to provide additional storage.
The master suite was reorganised so that the bedroom was on the garden side, as it previously looked out to the side into the neighbouring unit. Additional access doors to the garden were added for a better connection to the outdoor space, sought after in our climate. A 20% optimisation of the 3 bedroom unit layout is all that was required for significant improvement.
Meik did suggest some gentle updates to the exterior aesthetic but this was not our main mandate.