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Winning micro-housing design on display in NYC


January 28, 2013

The winning development team’s design, dubbed 'My Micro NY,' will be incorporated into the...

The winning development team’s design, dubbed 'My Micro NY,' will be incorporated into the city’s first micro-unit apartment building

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An exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York is showcasing the recently-announced winning entry from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s adAPT micro-apartment design competition launched last July. "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers" – organized by the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and the Museum of the City of New York – opened on January 23rd and gives New Yorkers the opportunity to test drive some of the features destined for the winning "My Micro NY" development on East 27th Street scheduled for completion in September 2015.

Mayor Bloomberg's adAPT committee chose a development team composed of Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS to design, construct and operate the city’s first micro-unit apartment building at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan. The winning development team’s design, dubbed "My Micro NY," will create 55 new micro-units, 40 percent of which will be deemed affordable beyond New York’s competitive market rents, and the building will join the Atlantic Yards project in constructing modular pre-fabricated units at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The Making Room exhibition features a full-scale mock-up of a 325 sq. ft. (30.19 sq. mt.) apartment (an apartment size which is prohibited in most areas of the city) that is fully furnished to reflect the perceived new lifestyle and demographic change of Manhattan residents. The pilot East 27th Street apartments will feature generous 9 -10 ft (2.7 - 3 m) floor-to-ceiling heights and Juliette balconies, with floor space measuring between 250 and 370 sq. ft (23.22 and 34.37 sq. mt.).

My Micro NY highlights two distinct zones called the “Toolbox” for kitchen, bathroom and s...

The space-efficient apartments use a combination of transformable furniture solutions to provide four rooms within the one space, such as wall beds built in behind sofas, and roll-away walls that conceal a full-depth closet. Storage is provided through a 16-ft (4.87-m) overhead loft space, whilst compact kitchens manage to include a full-height pantry and fridge alongside the cooker, plus space for a convection microwave.

The exhibit highlights two distinct zones called the “Toolbox” for kitchen, bathroom and storage utilities, and the “Canvas” flexible space that serves as the living and sleeping area. The "My Micro NY" building will also have a laundry room, a storage room, a bike room, and a fitness room.

The Making Rooms exhibition runs between January and September this year. Visitors can view housing designs by architectural teams commissioned in 2011 by Citizens Housing & Planning Council, in partnership with the Architectural League of New York, that include examples from other cities including Seattle, Providence, Montreal, San Diego, and Tokyo, in addition to the Bloomberg administration’s new apartment models.

Sources: Museum of the City of New York, Citizens Housing and Planning Council, New York City Website

About the Author
Donna Taylor After years of working in software delivery, Donna seized the opportunity to head back to university and this time study a lifelong passion: Architecture. Originally from the U.K. and after living in many countries, Donna and her family are now settled in Western Australia. When not writing Donna can be found at the University of Western Australia's Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Department.   All articles by Donna Taylor
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