Gallery: Normal Projects Maximizes Space & Efficiency with the 450 Squa...

Affordable apartments in the heart of Manhattan usually require you to give up certain luxuries such as room for entertaining or an area to eat that doesn’t double as your bathroom. But one New Yorker has succeed in making the most of his 450 square feet of Upper West Side studio apartment with the Unfolding Apartment, a smart interior designed by the owner’s friends at Normal Projects, an architectural firm based in New York. The apartment boasts a kitchen with ample counter space – which doubles as a bar area for dining – a Viking range, and a set of half-height refrigerators, plus space for a full size bed, home office, library, and closet! Thanks to a sleek custom oversized wall-unit, the designers were able to fit way more into this tiny package.

The secret behind the designers ability to fit everything one would need or want in a home is the electric blue wall-unit that runs along one wall of the apartment. The unit is constructed out of inexpensive medium-density fiberboard, and it provides the owner with a full-size Murphy bed, a spacious work area, a compact library, a closet, additional storage, and a pull-out wall that provides privacy for overnight guests in the living room. The unit’s design allows for everything to be folded up and tucked away to maximize space while the owner entertains. Even when the structure is completely unpacked the space maintains an open feel, and there is enough room for the owner to move about comfortably.

The whole apartment is a city dweller’s dream come true. The wall unit’s bright blue color gives life to the space but also provides a sense of tranquility with its simple, modern design. Similar to the One Size Fits All apartment belonging to Treehugger’s Graham Hill, the Unfolding Apartment provides an answer to how to manage small spaces so they can accommodate our needs while remaining ecologically aware. Density is a key element to the success of New York City, and this apartment reflects that – and is proof that bigger is not always better.

+ Normal Projects

via New York Times and Architizer

Photos by Alan Tansey via Normal Projects


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  1. Taipeigirl April 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I wonder how much is the construction cost? Is this done by millworker?

  2. lazyreader April 28, 2011 at 7:52 am

    The Fifth Element comes to mind.