We're running out of space, and we're running out of money—and for anyone who wants to live in a city (that's billions of humans), that's a problem. Here's a solution: micro apartments that squeeze full life into a tiny box.
What you see above is the winner of New York City's "adAPT NYC" competition, aimed at creating livable, humane, elegantly-designed apartments under 400-square feet (the current legal minimum).
The "My Micro NY" design, by nARCHITECTS, does just that—you can fit your whole existence into an apartment between 275 to 300 square feet using clever compartmentalization, folding furniture, and an eagle eye toward efficiency. According to an explanation from Mayor Bloomberg's office,
Each unit is comprised of two distinct zones: a ‘toolbox' containing a kitchen, bathroom and storage and a ‘canvas' providing ample, well-proportioned flexible space allowing for individual expression, and serving as the primary living and sleeping area. ‘My Micro NY' unites a spectrum of scales ranging from efficiently designed kitchens to the organization of the apartments and common space, all in a simple yet iconic building.
The idea here mirrors what Gizmodo pal Graham Hill did with his own dwelling, but My Micro NY is going for scale. Next year, an entire building of micro-apartments will go up in Manhattan's Gramercy neighborhood, with prices that beat the hell out of anything that isn't the lice-infested upstairs storage room in a Chinese restaurant: $940 for a studio and around $1,700 for a two-person unit. Those are spectacular prices for New York City housing.
But this is beyond New York. Experiments like Hills show that we can live happily and beautifully inside spaces that would've looked claustrophobic and horrible on paper. But with the right brains, square footage doesn't really mean anything. It's like standing inside an optical illusion. It's like standing inside a starship chamber. It's brilliant.
I want to try living in one of these right now, because this is what urbanism will look like in the next century. [NYC.gov]