The expense and shortage of housing in New York City are legendary barriers to living there, but one architecture firm is looking to improve both situations. The nARCHITECTS group has designed something quite different from anything else available, according to Arch Daily, and the first residents are expected to move in later this year.
What’s so different about this project? Nearly everything, from the concept out to the way they’re being built.
My Micro NY Units are Tiny, but Efficient
One of the first things you’ll notice about this project, called My Micro NY, is the diminutive scale of the units. Where New York City traditionally imposes a 400 square foot floor area minimum for apartments, this project received a special waiver. And with a Juliette balcony, units open up to the outdoors and feel more spacious.
My Micro NY apartments come in at only 260 square feet. They’re geared toward singles, and every inch was planned carefully. Living rooms transform into bedrooms at night, and kitchens and bathrooms use space just as judiciously. And because the units have either 9- or 10-foot ceilings, there’s storage space overhead in such a tiny footprint.
Planning Started From Scratch
There are certain traditional norms for apartment design, but nARCHITECTS worked to create this project without preconceptions. Eric Bunge, of nARCHITECTS, explains in a video interview at Arch Daily that architecture is a difficult discipline do pin down. And because it spans so many different areas, it allowed them to think about not just the best way to stack a certain number of units into one space, but to consider the whole community and the people who would ultimately live there.
Architecture, says Bunge, is about helping create solutions to problems that affect communities. One of the problems, as he sees it, is that many NY residents are single, and what the real estate market believes they want isn’t always what they do want. This project is about the overall living experience.
My Micro NY Thought About Residents First
The square footage and efficient design isn’t the only thing that’s different about My Micro NY units. Bunge says this project is redefining what’s important in a NYC living space. Where a typical real estate ad lists amenities that have traditionally been viewed as selling points, this project is more concerned with features such as great air circulation and lighting.
These units are spaces where single residents won’t have to look for a roommate to share expenses just to afford it. And singles make up a large portion of the NYC demographic, both younger and also retired. They were designed and created especially for the type of people who live in the city.
My Micro NY is an award-winning, ambitious project, and one where the architects worked to avoid any stale notions that weren’t rooted in the wants and needs of future residents. At 9 stories high and with 55 units, these apartments are even being built differently. Each apartment is separate, as a modular unit, and stacked atop the next in the Kips Bay area.
Architecture is tasked not just with designing great buildings, but also with understanding what communities need and responding to it. If the reception of My Micro NY is any indication, more responsive design that sits well outside tradition is yet to come.
PDH Academy helps architects and engineers keep skills sharp and learn about industry trends through continuing education credits. Check out our courses, and register before your next professional development hours are due.