The competition was part of a larger initiative to create more available units for one- and two-person households — some as small as 250 square feet, the largest at 370 square feet. The winning project, dubbed “My Micro NY”, focuses on quality and livability through features that highlight the use of space, light and air, such as 9′-10″ floor-to-ceiling heights and juliet balconies.
The My Micro NY design is a 10-story high building that comprises small, prefabricated units of varying scales and orientation. The design of each unit focuses on maximizing space and keeping it flexible to the occupants changing needs from day to night. Each unit has two zones: a “toolbox” with a kitchen, bathroom and storage space; and a “canvas” living area. The multi-faceted design, in part with the implementation of transforming furniture, allows the main space, or canvas, of each unit to be seamlessly re-configured from a living space to a sleeping space and back again.
To balance out the limited square footage, My Micro NY also offers residents plenty of amenities, including a rooftop garden, lounges on individual floors, a deck, a multi-purpose communal lounge, a laundry room, bike storage, general storage, a cafe and fitness room. On the exterior, the building’s modern aesthetic with its muted gray palette melds well with the surrounding architecture.
The development will provide housing for one- and two-person households across a variety of incomes. Around 40 percent of micro-units will be affordable beyond the competitive market rents. These income restricted units will be priced at a rental rate of $940-$1800 per month.
“The Monadnock proposal is compelling because it clearly demonstrates how careful planning and design innovation can transform a building into a community and a small unit into a home,” said Planning Commissioner Burden.
“New York’s ability to adapt with changing times is what made us the world’s greatest city – and it’s going to be what keeps us strong in the 21st Century,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations.”
DUMBO-based firm nARCHITECTS is the brains behind the innovative design. The firm’s recent work has focused on a wide range of scales, from buildings to public spaces, and their understanding of the New York cityscape and its challenges has certainly lent to the design at hand.
The prefab modules are to be manufactured locally at the Brooklyn Navy Yard by Capsys, Monadnock’s sister company. Capsys’ modules are manufactured in a controlled work environment and every module is inspected and approved by a third-party, State-approved engineering firm. As an Energy Star partner and member of the USGBC, when possible, the company employs materials and other sustainable components that qualify for points in the LEED rating system. By opting for a modular construction, the project schedule will be reduced up to 50% and save between 5% to 8% in construction costs.
The building is slated for completion by September 2015.
Images NYCMayorsOffice’s Flickr