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Mayor Bloomberg announces tiny housing design competition for NYC


July 11, 2012

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a competition for an innovative micro apartment model (Photo: Rubenstein)

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a competition for an innovative micro apartment model (Photo: Rubenstein)

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Here at Gizmag we love some of the micro homes we’ve seen, from the Tiny Leaf House on wheels to the Finnish micro house, and that’s not mentioning the London one room apartment turned into a two-story luxury home! It looks like we’re not the only ones, with New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg catching the tiny home fever and announcing a competition for an innovative micro apartment model.

The competition, which is called “adAPT,” was announced on Monday and invites proposals of a replicable design for “Micro-Units” to be built at 335 East 27th Street, Manhattan. The competition seeks micro apartment designs that are smaller than what current zoning regulations allow, sparking a move towards creating affordable homes for New York’s growing small-household population.

“Developing housing that matches how New Yorkers live today is critical to the City’s continued growth, future competitiveness and long-term economic success,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “People from all over the world want to live in New York City, and we must develop a new, scalable housing model that is safe, affordable and innovative to meet their needs.”

The pilot project will waive current zoning regulations to facilitate a building design that incorporates at least 75 percent of the apartments as micro-units. Each micro-unit should measure between 275 to 300 square feet (approximately 25 to 28 square meters) and include a kitchen and bathroom. Judging merit will favor entries that include innovative floor plans and sustainable building design.

“We’re looking for creativity, affordability, imaginative design and responsiveness to the needs of real New Yorkers,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Show us something we haven’t seen before that is ingenious, sustainable, replicable and practical, and we will work with you to make it a reality.”

The adAPT competition deadline for submissions is September 14, 2012 and the HPD will hold a pre-submission conference for interested architects on July 31, 2012 at the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Architecture.

Bloomberg's full announcement can be seen in the video below.

Source: NYC via Archinect

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/the_living_is_squeezy_mayor_Ucm2MBy8zv8aK88CF4LtoO There is a floor plan (on the floor) of the space it could take up. http://www.nypost.com/r/nypost/2012/07/10/news/web_photos/525050429--525x200.jpg I think it is a great idea but would work better at lower price (especially outside of New York City). I think it has a lot of potential; IMO.


About the size of the apartment Bruce Willis (Dallas) lives in in 5th element. I think you could even go smaller than that if you wanted. I've seen military barracks and dorms that have a lot of density. Nobody wants to live in a place like that but if you are only staying there during the week because you can't commute back home all you really need is a bed/desk/mini fridge, and a place to store some cloths.

The Aloft hotel chain is one place does confined spaces pretty well, maybe they should bid. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/photos/index.html?propertyID=3048

You could easily take something like that and lift the beds up to put some storage under it and add a couple floor to ceiling shelves.

I once lived in a 1 room apartment with 3 people in a room about the size of a bedroom and we pulled it off. The bathroom was in a second room but shared with 3 other people. Our solution was likely too impractical for even this plan but what we did was push everything ceiling high.

I had a bunk bed and underneath it was my office/desk, and a dresser. I had only 1 other wall locker that was outside the footprint of my bed.

My roomates had bunk beds and the highest bed was about 6 feet in the air so we could store several big army duffel bags under the bottom bunk for storage. Even as limited for space as we were the middle of the room was completely empty and clean, we could have fit a hot tub in the middle of the room.

Here is a link to a 78 sq foot apartment that gives an idea of how much wiggle room you really have with a 275 to 300 square foot apartment: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/photos/index.html?propertyID=3048

One simple idea not implemented in that design is shared bathrooms become MUCH more efficient if you put the shower and toilet in a different room than the sink. Instead of the bathroom being closed because someone is in the shower people can still shave/do makeup/brush their teeth etc. There is no way we would have been able to share a bathroom with 6 people without it.

If you made that mostly easy change to the floor plan listed in the nypost article you could move the toilet over near the shower and bathroom would take up only 2/3 of the space. With the 1/3 space that is left you have room for more than just a sink (like a washer/dryer or shelving) or you can add an extra sink to the kitchen and shift the kitchen right to reclaim some needed space for the living area.


Or how about plan B -- ditch the rent controls and let the market sort it out?

Given a choice, people would rather get what they want instead of having to put up with some central planner's orgasmic turd of a design.

Holly McBeal

A lot of people put Bloomberg down, but as a life long New Yorker, I can't day a bad word about him. I think the main thing people have against the guy, is he's rich. Get Over It !


I heard the refrigerator won't be able to hold a two liter bottle of cola and if you try to stick in two one liters it has sensors to push one out;) Bill

Bill Bennett

I would like to add that a lot of space could be saved by condensing the kitchen. Kitchens are nice to have but not at the expense of giving up most your living space.

A small oven and a microwave or even a microwave and a George Foreman grill would probably do and between that and moving the sink out of the bathroom it would almost double the living space or make room for a full size fridge, a couple of IKEA wardrobe lockers, and some extra seating.


Finally. maybe those of us who actually live in one of these tiny apartments will have an advantage in winning this competition. Does anyone know if there are specific budget requirements or not? I assume we will find this out on Monday but curious to know if anyone has heard anything. -G


How about a yard for the barbeque?

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