The Future Of Apartments Looks Like This

We're running out of space, and we're running out of money — and for anyone who wants to live in a city (that would be 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 liveable, humane, elegantly designed apartments under the current legal minimum of 37sqm.

The "My Micro NY" design, by nARCHITECTS, does just that — you can fit your whole existence into an apartment between 26sqm and 28sqm using clever compartmentalisation, folding furniture and an eagle eye towards 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 organisation 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 neighbourhood, with prices that beat the hell out of anything that isn't the lice-infested upstairs storage room in a Chinese restaurant: $US940 for a studio and around $US1700 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 have looked claustrophobic and horrible on paper. But with the right brains, square footage doesn't really mean anything.

I want to try living in one of these right now, because this is what urbanism will look like in the next century. []


    Baha I pity you city dwellers, I really do. Living in a fscking shoebox. Bugger that.

      Everybody in that photo would be having a good laugh, knowing that they will never have to dwell in Saddam Hussein's hideout.

      Last edited 23/01/13 10:18 am

        precisely - i just can't understand why anyone would actually pay to live this way!

      As opposed to buying a shoebox house for twice as much because it has a tiny back yard, and having to commute an hour more to work?

        Negatory, I have a 15 square house on a 680mĀ³ block, in a beautiful suburb, 20 minutes from work.
        Now, tell me again, why would I want to live in a shoebox?

    I'd rather live in a hole in the desert.
    and for anyone who wants to live in a city (that would be billions of humans) It would? I must be detached from what people want these days, but surely little rabbit hutches in the middle of huge cities isn't what people want?

    Looking ant those plans, my rabbit hutch would be in 4D-Night mode all the time.
    Give me a HOME on a seaside town or in the bush any day.

    It's funny how humanity over history has had epic battles over the conquest of land, and yet we find ourselves concentrated in these cities that take up relatively little space.

    The idea seems good in theory, but not sure about practice.

    Forgot to put this piece in...
    you can fit your whole existence into an apartment between 26sqm and 28sqm using clever compartmentalisation, folding furniture and an eagle eye towards efficiency. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should/would.

    Last edited 23/01/13 10:12 am

    Those prices sure look wrong to me. At $940 for a studio i will just buy them all and sell them at the normal market price, like i dunno, in the 100's of thousands?

      I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that's the per month rental cost.

      You may want to rethink your handle.

      Rent per month.

        You like these things do you?

          You do realise people are currently renting out apartments in cities, filling them with bunk beds, and living in them in shifts right? There is a massive hole in affordability, and while you might like your open space, others might not want to spend three hours a day commuting to work or university just to have a backyard they'll never have time to use.

            I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but cramming more people into a city surely isn't the answer, and in the long term that is what this will do.
            It will make the quality of life fractionally better for some people in the immediate future which is good, but in a couple of years no doubt you will be posting to me 'You do realise people are currently renting out run down, 26sqm apartments...'

            There is still no real quality of life. Live in a hole, go to work/uni/whatever, come back to the hole.

            If it helps people, then good, do it.
            But surely you can see what is going to happen to these in the long term?

            In saying this, I don't have a better way to solve the issue.

              In Australia we also have the issue that if you want a job or an education, you don't really have a lot of options outside of state capitals. Not quite so bad in the US in this regard, but there are still a lot more jobs in the big cities, more oportunity to advance in those jobs, and they usually pay more money.

                You're completely wrong about the education front, unless you want to go to uni, which seems pretty pointless in the current economic times.
                Work, well, I found it easier to get an IT job in Tasmania than i did in Melbourne, but maybe I just got lucky.

                Once people are in Cities they get stuck in the loop, and think that this is it, there is no way out.

                Where large groups of people are bunking up in these apartments, I would just choose not to do that. Ever.
                I'd jump in a car and drive across the United States until I found something suitable, but that's just me I suppose.

                I live with the philosophy Eat, Sleep, Excrete, everything else is optional.

                  Oh nickmorgan, let us bask in your wisdom! We are all wrong living the way we are, and you are right about everything.

                  I doubt you'd find many Aussies willing to bunk up in an apartment like that, the majority would be immigrants and international students.

                  @olearymo I never told anybody how to live, nor did I say how I live is the right way.
                  I am just trying to understand who would live in these things in the short, and the long term.

                  How about me and @dknigs have a conversation, and you go sit in the corner with the rest of the kids unless you've got something to add?


                  @dknigs Yeah, we are pretty lucky in Australia at the moment, even though housing isn't great, we aren't exactly living in Mumbai.
                  We tend to take our ideals with us, and yeah we'd probably jump up and down if somebody told us to live in an apartment like that.

                  If these things go ahead, hopefully they can help somebody before they turn into small huts for crack addicts.

                  In IT having certificates might be better, but not everyone wants to be in IT. I think you'll also find job prospects internationally are a lot lower without a degree than they are in Australia. Everyone is relatively highly paid for what they do here, even the guy working the checkout at mcdonalds.

                  Last edited 23/01/13 11:59 am

                  Realistically I live in a 3 bedroom house with two rooms that are barely used with my partner. It's a waste of space and just encourages us to keep more crap. I could happily live in a well designed apartment, although not really one this small, except I'd be paying at least $100 more a week than the house I'm in, and then I'd run the risk of having shitty neighbours through a wall lol.

                  @dknigs I understand that not everybody wants to be in I.T, but I can only comment on what I know.
                  The mining sector in Australia probably helps those without a university degree.

                  Funny to see how far we have digressed here, interesting and challenging times we live in.

                  "I live with the philosophy Eat, Sleep, Excrete, everything else is optional."

                  Well then these apartments suit your needs perfectly.

      I'd rather spend 235 a week on gum.

      Last edited 23/01/13 10:24 am

        Your comments regarding this post are almost TOO constructive.

          Your input on this topic has been enlightening also.

          Also, I'm not sure how, but you've missed the 6 million word conversation that myself and @dknigs have been having.

          Quite constructive for me actually, I've learned a bit, which is all I come here to do at the end of the day, not keep you or anybody else happy.

          And that comment is still true now, I'd rather spend $235 a week on gum and build an igloo out of all the chewed pieces.

    This is kind of funny, im currently reading "caves of steel" by Asaac Asimov.
    and its funny as people of the "cities" live in apartments about half the size, and have a phobia of open spaces and clear skies, and have no interest in living in a world that isnt so enclosed and crowded.
    I find it interesting that asimov had enough of a vision 60 years ago too see this sort of thing becoming a reality so clearly.

      It's here now. We live in a world where everyone's head is buried in their smartphone reading Facebook and have a phobia of meeting real people.

      I thought of 'Caves of Steel' while reading this too. Not the only thing he had an interesting foresight into. 'Bookfilms' on the other

      It is just an excercise in efficinecy though. Why have three rooms that you spend 1/3 of your time in each, when you can just rearrange some infrastructure. Brings new meaning to 'making your bed' though.

        See i picture book-films as pretty much tables/smartphones, informational books containing movies... sorta fits.

          I meant the literal concept of them being on actual film tape was lol...I can't remeber what book it was in but there was something about how they had an actual book for something because you could just flick to pages instead of having to wind film to go forwards or backwards. It reminded me of my mum trouble shooting a DVD that wasn't playing by suggesting I double check that it had been rewound.

    Kind of reminds me of the IKEA demonstration living-spaces.

    Form should follow function. It's that simple.

    I do not understand extraneous luxuries. Your living space should be defined by your needs, not your wants.

    Generally apartments are much kinder on the environment than your typical urban sprawl too.

    Actually its pretty much what I have been looking for. Single unattached minimalist. Though saying that, I'd want to have a walk through before getting overly excited. But there is a market, even in Australia. I take it that the wasted m2 in the hall is really potential space for a bicycle garage : ).

    NB: Add 4 sets of bunks, each shared by 2 - head to toe, and then you'd have student accommodation, but on;y if the toilet leeks and the landlord charges like an A'hole.

    Two things spring to mind:

    1) Why is it always that these designs are for the neatest, cleanest people on earth? Why isn't anyone working on a compact living solution for us slobs?
    2) Having the toilet and the kitchen that close to each other? I'll pass, thanks.

    This kind of works for me. I would rather live close to parks, restaurants, bars and the city then have more living space/ back yard. at this point in my life i just don't need it. Pity the rent still seems high. better off getting 3-5 people to rent a house/large apartment out for cheaper.

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