In space-starved New York, compact homes aren’t going away anytime soon: as the mayor’s office announced that Monadnock Development will build Manhattan’s first micro-unit apartments, a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York focuses on tiny living.
“Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers,” which opened Wednesday, displays renderings and models of solutions for the city’s housing challenges. The highlight of the show is a full-scale model of a 325-square-foot apartment designed by Amie Gross Architects. The L-shaped layout follows all city regulations except for the current minimum unit size of 400 square feet for all new apartments. The transformations included a Murphy bed that folds out right on top of the sofa, a television panel that slides to reveal drawers, an ottoman that hides four metal-frame seats and a wooden chair that converts into a step-ladder for those hard-to-reach areas.
One of the tricks Amie Gross used to make the apartment more spacious? The ceiling in the living room is roughly a foot higher than the ceiling in the entryway, giving visitors the impression of airiness once they step in . In addition, the cooking, eating and sleeping areas remain distinct. “You don’t want to feel like you’re sleeping in the kitchen,” Gross told the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s a peek at Gross’s design (last two photos courtesy of the City of the Museum of New York). The exhibit runs until September 15th.
- The Bloomberg administration predicts that by 2030 New York City will be home to 8.8 million people. That’s 600,000 more than the population in 2011.
- Only 1.5 percent of New York City’s rental housing stock is a studio or one-bedroom apartment ready for occupancy.
- Only 18 percent of the city’s housing is occupied by nuclear families, defined as two parents and children under age 25.
- Wonder why Japan has traditionally been at the forefront of efficient home design? During the Edo period (1603-1868), the majority of urban dwellers lived in 100-square-foot nagaya rowhouses, which emphasized portable design, solid infrastructure and communal spaces.
Overheard at the exhibit:
- “My architect friend designed a fold-out bed with a desk attached to it. It’s beyond a Murphy Bed.”
- “This closet with the pull-out rack — what about heavier items, like my fur coats?”
- “Italians aren’t going to make a puzzle piece to live in. It has to be a home. It has to be beautiful.”