ABO Developments - Spring 2013 - (Page 10)
New Models for Housing
An Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York
BY ST EV E C U T L E R
The micro-unit apartment building at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan
will feature a light brick façade with a series of setbacks and cantilevers.
hat are we going
to do with the
one million new
residents coming into New York City over the next
two decades, more than half of whom
will likely be single, when we don’t have
enough studios and one-bedrooms to
house the disproportionately single population we’ve got already?
The prevailing solution today is to
cram them into the existing housing stock,
several to a unit. But what kind of way is
that to live? Besides, it’s illegal in some
cases. There’s a limit to how many unrelated people can occupy one apartment,
regardless of its size. Three, the law says.
And current New York City zoning forbids
developers to build apartments under 400
square feet in new construction.
Mayor Bloomberg, famous for micromanaging lifestyle in New York to
improve it, announced his solution to the
problem last July: the micro-apartment.
Together with HPD, the mayor launched
“adAPT NYC,” a pilot program based
on a long-term project by the Citizens
Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) of
New York to develop a new model for residential construction in New York City.
My Micro NY will be the first multi-family building in Manhattan to use
modular construction, piecing together modules prefabricated by Capsys
at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The program asked developers to
submit RFPs to design, build and operate a micro-unit apartment building on
city-owned land in Kips Bay. Apartments
in the complex would be just 275 to 300
square feet, yet livable enough — commodious even — to justify downsizing
the zoning regs citywide and coax developers to add big numbers of small apartments to their new projects.
The winning and runner-up apartment designs are on display at an exhibit
entitled “Making Room” at the Museum
of the City of New York running through
September 2013. In addition to the
prize-winning designs, the exhibit, coproduced by CHPC, features a full-sized
furnished 325-square-foot micro-studio
apartment and models and drawings
of housing designs commissioned in
2011 by CHPC in partnership with the
Architectural League of New York and
examples of small dwellings in the U.S.
and around the world.
Let’s Get Small
Mayor Bloomberg’s push for smaller
apartment layouts and the museum
exhibit were inspired by a ﬁve-year
study conducted by CHPC on how to
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reconﬁgure housing in New York City to
catch up with changing demographics.
“Thirty-three percent of New York
City’s housing units are occupied by single people living alone,” wrote CHPC’s
Jerilyn Perine and Sarah Watson. “And a
third of single persons living alone actually under-occupy housing, by living in a
two bedroom apartment or larger. While
some portion of these households are not
revealing lodgers or boarders to survey
takers, many others are truly under-occupying their units by choice or because
more suitable housing is unavailable to
them. More than half of these reported
single person households beneﬁt from
some form of rent regulation.”
The data suggests an opportunity
for developers, if only the city would
allow them to build smaller units.
Scaled-down, affordable apartments in
amenity-rich buildings convenient to
transportation, if designed well, could
tempt singles to give up their oversized
rent-stabilized apartments. And they
enable builders to put signiﬁcantly
greater numbers of housing units in
dense areas of the city to accommodate
the increasing number of single people
just entering the housing market.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Spring 2013
A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
BuildingsNY The Bigger, The Better…2013
Workshops and Seminars
Making Room New Models for Housing
ABO 2012 Awards Luncheon
Rats A Success S tory
Index of Advertisers
ABO Developments - Spring 2013