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 recently started a study of a micro-unit concept 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 this conceptual design, but we can’t wait for you to see the final product!
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.
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?”
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/
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
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
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.
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
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 is serving as the Assistant Project Manager for 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.