Micro-apartments are a growing trend in London, as outlined in our “Small Wonders” feature. But other cities share the same combination of rising property values and demand for central locations. Here, we look at seven schemes currently in development.
1. My Micro NY
Perhaps the most widely reported micro-apartment development, My Micro NY is taking place in New York. In 2012 the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development launched the AdAPT NYC competition to develop a micro-apartment housing model for a site in Kips Bay, Manhattan. The project attracted global attention, and a scheme by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners with UK developer Pocket Living, New York architect Alexander Gorlin and property company BFC Partners was among the five finalists.
However, the competition was won by Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS’ design for a nine-storey apartment block that will contain 55 prefabricated studios of 25 sq m to 35 sq m.
The project necessitated a waiver in city zoning regulations on minimum apartment sizes and is scheduled for completion this summer. In addition to the prefabricated micro-apartments, the scheme aims to provide residents with communal space, and has a rooftop garden, lounges on individual floors, a deck, multi-purpose communal lounge, cafe and fitness room.
2. G-Suite Cardinal Court, Oldham
Micro-apartments are starting to emerge elsewhere in the UK. Architect Falconer Chester Hall has designed a block of 142 small flats in Oldham for Hong Kong-based developer G-Suite Holdings. Construction has begun on the scheme that contains flats ranging from 20 to 35 sq m and again come complete with beds and tables that fold away to maximise space.
Adam Hall, managing director of Falconer Chester Hall, told Place North West: “This type of accommodation has already proved popular elsewhere in the UK for those looking to take their first step on the housing ladder such as key workers and post-graduate students, and will help open up the residential market to a wider spectrum of society.”
According to its website, G-Suite is also working with Turner & Townsend.
3. The Panoramic, San Francisco
Outside of New York micro apartments are appearing in other major US cities. In San Francisco’s Mission District, housing developer Panoramic Interests is building an 11-story micro-unit building. Scheduled for completion next month the block, designed by architect Dwellwell and Kwan Henmi, will consist of 160 apartments, with 120 set to be smaller than 28 sq m.
Each apartment will contain a SmartBench six-person dining table that folds down to make way for the bed, built-in storage units and have oversized windows.
To provide additional space for residents the development has public lounges on every floor, a ground floor cafe and a rooftop garden.
4. Wharf Hall, Washington DC
As part of the $2bn Wharf redevelopment project in south-west Washington DC, a 500-unit block will contain the district’s first micro apartments. Scheduled for completion in 2017 the development, designed by Perkins Eastman, will contain 170 flats that will measure between 31 and 33 sq m.
The units are planned to have 9ft high ceilings and a “sliding barn door” to cover the bathroom so that an out swinging door doesn’t intrude on visual space in the flat. The micro-apartments are arranged in pairs so that they can be converted into larger flats in the future if needed.
5. 902 Davie, Vancouver
North of the border in Canada, the development of micro-apartments is moving even quicker. A proposed 25-storey tower in Vancouver will comprise micro-apartments reportedly between 16 and 26 sq m, with outdoor gardens every few floors and a rooftop space.
Designed by Los Angeles-based Neil M Denari Architects (NMDA) the project is currently awaiting planning approval.
6. Smart House, Toronto
Toronto-based developer Urban Capital looks to be leading the way in Canada with its Smart House micro-condo concept. Its 25-storey Smart House Toronto project, which contains 241 apartments of as little as 27 sq m, is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2017.
Designed with inbuilt “smart” space saving furniture, apartments feature kitchen islands that are designed with integrated dining tables, fold-down beds and floor-to-ceiling cupboards.
7. Smart House, Ottawa
Developer Urban Capital has already moving out of its home city and expanded its Smart House concept to Ottawa, where a nine-storey building with 151 units starting at 29 sq m has been granted planning permission with construction planned to start later this year.
The apartments are arranged internal in a similar manner to its sister building in Toronto and the developer intends to expand the concept across the country.