Gallery: Donghyun Kim’s Micro-Housing Concept Aims to Turn Wasted Space...

Micro-housing has become a hot topic as New York City aims to reconcile its lack of affordable housing with its booming population, but the majority of tiny apartment concepts out there involve constructing new buildings from scratch. Korean architect Donghyun Kim has devised an entirely different solution, which aims to utilize wasted spaces in existing infrastructure to create new dwellings. Kim's proposal was recently awarded second place in the residential category of the ‘RE-THINKING THE FUTURE’ design competition.

Kim, an Architectural Designer at Neal Beckstedt Studio with an MArch from Cornell University, conceptualized his micro-housing project as a response to New York City’s current housing crisis. “There is a demonstrated need for so-called micro-housing — small units for single men and women,” says Kim. “76% of the city population, approximately 1.8 million households, are comprised of only one or two people. However, only 1 million studios or 1 bedroom apartments are currently provided.” The other issue is that most of the city is already fully developed on the ground level, so Kim decided to look for ways to add more housing without having to construct new buildings.

“I developed this project with a purpose to find a sustainable way to respond to an issue on micro-housing and a new type of housing development in New York City,” explains Kim. “By utilizing the existing infrastructure and tweaking the current zoning envelope possibilities, this project is trying to achieve a maximum number of dwelling units with a minimum need for demolition. The project emphasizes on a more financially efficient and environmentally sustainable way of creating additional dwelling units on the existing urban fabric that is already fully developed on the ground level.”

Kim’s suggestion of in-filling wasted space in existing buildings with new residential apartments would likely require some additional zoning research, but would be a viable and certainly more eco-friendly way to create space for more New Yorkers. Building owners could also benefit from added income.

+ Donghyun Kim’s Micro-Housing Concept


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  1. docholly January 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I lived in a tiny studio in Little Italy in the 1970′s. my shower/tub was in the kitchen. ‘bedroom’ area was the size of a bunk bed. but it was $25 month. When I graduated from college I lived in an SRO. 1 room with bed/desk/chair & a toilet/sink/shower. the kitchen was shared with 4 other rooms on W. 79th street. I paid 65.00/month for that. When my son was born we moved into an SRO with a microwave at 100.00 month and finally in 1980 we got a 1 bed/1bath with kitchen for 225/month. which i raised 6 children (my 2 and my husband’s 4 in) I would KILL today for any of those back.

  2. جمال اللافي November 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    thank you.

  3. Ali Van November 20, 2013 at 1:05 am

    this is how i want to live actually.. or a micro apartment, its the way of the future!

    please stop making us wait for moderators to approve messages.. its annoying and no wonder nobody comments