The internal layout of an apartment establishes how functional and enjoyable an apartment is to live in.
Aspects such as access to sun and daylight, natural ventilation and acoustic and visual privacy, directly contribute to the health and wellbeing of occupants, their ability to easily carry out normal household functions, socialise and to feel safe and secure.
Provide enough space to meet the needs of the residents by:
Allowing enough space for standard sized beds, circulation and storage in the bedrooms.
Providing enough room for all members of the household to sit down to the dinner table together.
Providing enough room in the living room for all the residents to sit and watch television.
Providing a deck large enough for the occupants to sit outside together around a table.
Allowing sufficient circulation space for ease of movement between all the rooms. Furniture should not have to be moved to gain access or for residents to pass from one space to another.
Providing enough storage for the full range of day to day items.
Plans must show standard sized furniture in all rooms, sufficient to illustrate the points above.
A well designed building will need less space, and a poorly design building will need more.
Ensure flexibility by providing for a range of furniture layouts in living and bedrooms, and easy furniture removal.
Ensure circulation by stairs, corridors and through rooms is planned as efficiently as possible, to maintain the maximum amount of usable floor space. Circulation should be integrated into living spaces except at entrances, where maintaining privacy is critical, and the front door should be screened from living areas.
Configure spaces to exploit principal views and north facing aspect, and ensure orientation to the street.
Provide private outdoor space for every apartment (balcony, terrace, patio, garden, courtyard), ensuring this is directly accessible from the apartment living area. Upper floor apartments should also have easy access to communal spaces.
Ensure a good standard of natural light and ventilation is provided to all habitable spaces.
This is most easily achieved with dual aspect apartments.
Provide adequate storage space for everyday items (e.g. cleaning items) and those with occasional use (e.g. suitcases).
Consider additional secure storage at ground or basement level for bicycles and large sports equipment, and storage for outdoor equipment for apartments with gardens.