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does size really matter?

what’s the deal with micro housing anyway?

Living small may seem like a new trend, but it really isn’t. Remember that college dorm room you lived in or the first studio apartment you rented after college? Living small could free you up from being buried by too much stuff and give you the opportunity get out into the neighborhood, rather than staying holed up at home.

WORKSHOP8 was recently commissioned to provide architecture, interior design, and branding for a new micro unit apartment development in the Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood in Denver. We’ve just kicked off Design Development and I’m in the process of working through the unit layouts. We are incorporating space saving solutions into each unit and making the most out of the common spaces for residents. We’re in the early stages of design, but we can’t wait for you to see the final product!

380 sqft micro unit layout plan by WORKSHOP8

540 sqft micro unit layout plan by WORKSHOP8

These are the preliminary layouts for the 380 and 540 square foot units for our new flats project.

is it the size that matters or how you use it?

The rise of micro units suggests it’s how you use it. These small spaces can be hard working and have a sense of humor which makes up for the fact that some maneuvers may be difficult. Just don’t call them cute.

micro unit LEGO wall

The EverBlock system is a whimsical way to divide a space into two separate areas. http://www.everblocksystems.com/portablewalls/

Layout is really important when designing a micro unit. Good space planning makes the most out of the length and the width provided. Some of the first questions that come up when touring a unit is, “What’s it packin’? Is the space well endowed with creative storage solutions?”

small space dining solutions pull out

dining pull out small space solution

This storage wall can be expanded to create a dining area for two. It uses the length of the space to its advantage, while not decreasing the width. http://mkca.com/partywall-2/

living room and bedroom combination. This is a flex space for micro unit housing

This design gets the storage off the floor and on the walls. The living room also serves as the bedroom but the bed tucks away into a cabinet behind the sofa when not in use. http://www.timeout.com/newyork/attractions/making-room-new-models-for-housing-new-yorkers

built in bed with sliding modular wall for micro housing unit

This bed is built in to save space and the design is clean and modern. With everything becoming digital, less space is needed for storage; people read books and watch movies on tablets. http://nicholasgurney.com.au

first class kitchen at the Ollie in NYC. Space saving measures in the micro unit bedroom and living room allow for a kitchen that feels full size

The beds at the Ollie in NYC may fold into the wall, but the kitchen is first class. http://www.ollie.co/carmel-place

supporting a sustainable lifestyle

A healthy emotional connection to your surroundings can make up for a lack of square feet. While some people think that these space challenged units are a real mood killer, others feel that they are supporting a sustainable lifestyle. You know what they say: smaller units, smaller building. Smaller units use less energy and if the building has good amenities, tenants can use a shared laundry room or entertain in a common lounge or kitchenette.

shared kitchen in micro unit housing

K2 in Chicago has micro units and great amenities. You can do work, watch the game, or socialize with your neighbors without making them sit on the bed that’s in your living room.  http://k2apts.com/gallery

shared space in micro housing apartments

stadium seating for shared use space in micro housing apartments

The Ollie shows lots of hang out space including both the bar type area shown above with a “living wall” and large bird mural and stadium seating to watch movies and sporting events. http://www.ollie.co

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the current micro unit craze. Is size a deal-breaker for you? Drop me an email and let me know what you think.

 

Kate WORKSHOP8

Kate is serving as the Assistant Project Manager for the Sloan’s Lake project as well as the Stanley Marketplace project in Aurora. She is also helping with unit layout and finish selection for our Spring Creek and Fall River apartment projects in Longmont,  as wall as designing a swanky night club.