See a microapartment in person at the Museum of the City of New York

A new exhibit, "Making Room," looks at how New Yorkers might live in tiny accommodations.

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Photograph: John Halpern

New Yorkers love to swap stories about the weird ways in which they've made tiny apartments work (did we ever tell you about the tiny studio with the loft bed we also used as storage space?), but we're guessing most people have never lived in a space that's only 325 square feet. According to city zoning laws, apartments that small are illegal: 400 square feet is the minimum size for a living space in NYC, although it's a rule that landlords and tenants find ways to circumvent.


Now, architects are being encouraged to throw that rule out the window and design even smaller spaces. In July, Mayor Bloomberg launched adAPT NYC, a competition that challenged designers to create teeny apartments that could potentially house the nearly 2 million one- to two-person households in the city. The winners of that contest were announced yesterday, and the designs—none of which are larger than 370 square feet—will be constructed in a building on East 27th Street. (According to the Times, the structure itself will be prefabricated, with the units "stacked together like Legos.")


While that building isn't expected to be completed any time soon, you can see a life-size microunit—measuring 325 square feet—in "Making Room," a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The show, a collaborative effort between the museum and the Citizens Planning and Housing Council, looks at how city planners and architects can address the growing single population in NYC. We're not sure if we'd ever want to live in such a small space, but the apartment, designed by Pierluigi Colombo (of Italian design firm Clei) and Amie Gross Architects, is cute, and looks spacious, which is all that matters. (Right?)



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