New York City – and the borough of Manhattan specifically – has long been identified by its micro apartments and somewhat comical living spaces where you can wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and get dressed without ever leaving your bed! But what the tiny house movement has continued to illustrate is that it isn’t about size. It is about appropriation. Such is the case with the Manhattan Micro-Loft designed by the Specht Harpman team.
Actually a renovation project the micro-apartment is situated on the top floor of an Upper West Side (the UWS is considered an upscale, primarily residential area with many residents working in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. It is seen as the home to New York City’s cultural and intellectual hub) brownstone. The idea for its layout was seemingly more out of necessity than ingenuity. While the footprint is just 425 square feet the vertical space allowed for another 25 feet in height as well as boasting a roof terrace. Besides the obvious issues of heating and cooling as well as acoustical issues the apartment was less than ideal for modern living.
As seen in the photos (taken by Taggart Sorenson) the reno reimagined the space into four platforms laid out so that each space had room for the essentials without sacrificing light and space.
The bottom level is the entry as well as a small kitchen with modern white lacquered cabinetry with flush doors and hidden hardware.
A few steps up is the main living area with a grey, upholstered ‘L’ -shaped couch, bright white painted brick walls, and an expansive 12-foot ceiling. Jutting out into the living area is the third platform; a cantilevered bed platform of dark wood that matched the flooring throughout.
The eye catcher though is the bed platform is supported by exposed metal beams.The last set of steps leads up to the rooftop garden area. The entire layout is impossibly large feeling because of the absence of doors and hallways allowing for a downright cavernous feeling.
One of the features in the micro-apartment is one that is being used in clever fashion by a number of tiny house builders as of late. The stairs double as cabinets with a footer of drawers.
The bathroom is even “built-in” below the staircase.
The absence of traditional closets, shelving units, and storage spaces is forgiven, as every flat surface seems to hide ample storage. The kitchen has concealed cabinetry, hidden appliances, and a countertop that wraps into the living area doubling as a breakfast bar and all-purpose table. The apartment also lacks the furniture pieces that too often add clutter and confusion to a house. Perhaps a few extra amenities and furnishings could be accomplished by incorporating “transforming” pieces as seen in the Micro-Apartment designed by the team at Resource Furniture. The apartment is complex and sophisticated by design, simple by execution, and even simpler by lifestyle.
- Can you see yourself in a tiny, modern space?