Big Apple Gets Small Apts in adAPT NYC Competition
In an effort to better house New York City’s ample 1 and 2 person households, Mayor Bloomberg has launched the adAPT NYC design competition, looking for the best 275-300 sq ft apartment designs the world has to offer.
According to Reuters, there are “1.8 million one- and two-person households in New York City, but only about a million studio and one-bedroom apartments–a sign…that the city’s housing stock has not kept up with its changing demographics.”
The winning design will be built in NYC’s Kip’s Bay area. The building itself will feature about 80 units, with construction beginning in 2013.
Most notable is that these units will be exempt from current NYC zoning regulations, which dictate that sub 300 sq ft units are not fit for living.
Many of the zoning laws were designed to protect immigrants living in dangerous tenements. These laws are often quite out of sync with modern housing needs, conditions and building practices. As Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) Jerilyn Perine told the Wall Street Journal:
The way we [regulators thought] about housing policy over the last 100 years was all about sanitation, health, fire safety and an underlying idea that the more space people could have the better…We have very different solutions today about health and safety and cleanliness.
AdAPT NYC’s units should, according to a press release, have ”substantial access to light and air to create a sense of openness.” Units will also have a separate bathroom and a kitchen.
Building small in the US’s biggest city is a great boon to the small housing movement. By deregulating building sizes in one of the–if not the–world’s design capitals, a new era of smart and small apartments can emerge. And, as is often the case, these concepts can spread further afield (yes, we are aware there are similar initiatives already built out west…hey we’re NYC-based).
Be sure to check out ABC World News feature, which included the LifeEdited apartment as part of a roundup of apartments that are presaging adAPT’s design objectives.