Photo Credit: Ben Jacobsen

NCA’s adaptive reuse project for the historic Arcade was featured in an exhibit about Micro Lofts at the Museum of the City of New York.  Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, organized by the Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), offers insights into how New York City’s changing social, economic, and cultural lives, especially the rise of single adults, are re-shaping urban households, and how design can help re-shape the city’s housing stock for New Yorkers at all phases of their lives.

The exhibition presented an array of innovative architectural solutions that would better accommodate the city’s emerging housing needs. Making Room features a full-scale, “micro-apartment,” fully furnished with transformable furniture, along with an array of other proposals to provide new housing options for a 21stcentury population – including shared housing for single adults and adapted homes for extended families – as well as a look at real-life examples pioneered in other cities around the world as they face growing populations and changing family structures and new environmental realities.

Making Room  also included several innovative designs submitted to New York City’s adAPT competition. In July 2012, the City issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for developer/architect teams to design a building of micro-units for small households, meaning one- to two-people. The winning submission will be developed on a site on East 27th Street in Manhattan, and will test this new housing model in the New York City marketplace.

A highlight of the exhibition was the full-scale micro-apartment, giving visitors the ability to step into – and walk through – an innovative solution that could help New York accommodate the city’s booming single population. The actualized micro-unit, ingeniously designed and furnished by Clei s.r.l. and Resource Furniture and with architecture by Amie Gross Architects, will change through the course of the day during special demonstrations at the Museum, morphing to the occupant’s needs. With transformable furniture, such as tables, bed systems and seating, space is utilized efficiently and creatively. Examples of innovative housing types that are being built across the country and globe, including Providence, San Diego, Montreal, Seattle, and Tokyo, are also detailed in the main exhibition space. Japan has long been recognized as a leader in creating small, well-designed living spaces and the exhibition showcases several compact homes recently built in Tokyo.