Is That a Dishtowel – or Wall-to-Wall Carpeting?

Last July, I posted that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s adAPT NYC competition was seeking proposals for “micro-units,” meaning apartments less than the minimum 400 square feet normally required by zoning. On January 22, the city revealed the winners - a team composed of Monadnock Development LLC and nARCHITECTS , and the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation. (Rumors that the team tried to celebrate with a pizza party in a mock-up of the micro-apartment, but realized a large pizza would not fit, were greatly exaggerated.)

While not everyone would want to live in a micro-apartment (although many do), they are a great way to meet several overlapping objectives. All else being equal, a smaller residence means less construction material and waste, lower energy use, and reduced consumption of things like furniture.  Small apartments also help meet PlaNYC goals that attempt to determine how New York City can remain livable while accommodating the one million new New Yorkers expected to arrive by 2030. The competition will be a testing ground for some interesting concepts, such as a targeted zoning exception for micro-apartments and all-modular construction. And according to the city,  40 percent of the units in the building at 335 East 27th Street will be offered at below-market rates, increasing affordability in a tight market.

You can see the winning design, which actually includes surfboard storage (I am not making that up) at a Museum of the City New York exhibition on new housing options for the city. Bring a camera to take snap a photo of the brilliant new design for micro-units!


adAPT NYC's Innovative Micro-Apartment Housing Model
Photo Credit: NYC Mayor's Office

Photo Credit: NYC Mayor's Office



About the author

Cecil Scheib
Cecil Scheib is Chief Program Officer for Urban Green Council.