It’s been about a year and a half since MUJI first announced their MUJI Hut, a modern prefab take on the micro-home. Costing $27,000, it’s a well-priced housing option for those with land—and it’s finally hit the market. Although the price tag may still be out of reach for most New Yorkers, those blessed with a backyard and some extra cash can easily turn this hut into a stylish extra room or office. That’s right, at just 97 square feet this little guy appears to skirt the need for a building permit, keeping well below the 121 square feet that would require plans, approval, and tedious visits to the Department of Buildings.
The sky is the limit for the popular ride-hailing app, Uber. The company announced Tuesday that it intends to roll out a network of flying cars, or VTOLs (aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing) beginning in Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai by 2020. And as reported by the NY Post, one of Uber’s partners, Blade helicopter service, aims to make New York City a target for its plan within five years. If so, these vehicles, which travel at 200 mph, could take passengers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in as little as five minutes.
For most modern New Yorkers, it’s hard to imagine the city being anything more than a crowded, noisy, concrete jungle. However, with the website Unsung.NYC, users can now explore the natural sounds of Manhattan, present during the 1600s before European settlers arrived. As the Times reports, “Calling Thunder” lets listeners hear all the chirps, croaks, and laps of waves, all of which coincide with images from four main points in Manhattan—the Collect Pond Park, the High Line, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Inwood Hill Park.
Renderings by PlayLab, courtesy of +POOL.
Seven years ago the team behind +POOL floated the fanciful–but completely fun–sounding idea of building a pool submerged in NYC’s East River that would filter the polluted waterway in addition to being a cool-off spot for New Yorkers. Curbed reports that though the official line is that all options are still being looked at, project designers hope the city will allow +POOL to be located off a pier at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Spring has us thinking about greenery, with roots and shoots popping everywhere we turn–but most city dwellers don’t have a garden to grow. Enter the smart planter from LeGrow. These snappy planters fit together like LEGO blocks for plants, making our design sensibilities happy by adding a cool modular element while allowing us to add living greenery to our indoor surroundings.
Thanks to Growkit, a farming kit for beginners developed by Portugal-based startup Noocity, city dwellers short on time and space can still take a stab at gardening and harvest their own organic food (h/t Gearminded). The kit includes an entire gardening system–a Growbag irrigated planter, a Growpack with seasonal plants, potting soil, fertilizer, and step-by-step audio instructions–all delivered right to your doorstep.
As part of its relaunch, Google Earth, a program that allows users to explore the planet virtually, now features guided tours of projects by various architects, like Frank Gehry and the late Zaha Hadid. As ArchDaily learned, the relaunch allows users to orbit the entire globe in 3D, instead of simply exploring isolated cities. It also enhanced the web application’s accessibility, with searches within the app providing snapshots of information about the places. Plus, using the app is free of charge and users do not have to pay or install any software.
6sqft’s new series Toolbox Tutorials shares step-by-step guides for simple, affordable DIY projects. This week, Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff, founders of Urban Jungle Bloggers and authors of the new book “Urban Jungle: Living and Styling With Plants,” teach us how to make an easy macramé plant hanger. Have a project you’d like to share? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
In small apartments, the valuable real estate on shelves and windowsills gets used up fast, but don’t let this deter you from bringing in some greenery. Even if your flat surfaces aren’t available, there’s always room for a hanging plant, which can be suspended from the ceiling, a wall or window, or a doorknob that’s not used on a daily basis. To do this, we’re showing you how to make macramé hangers for anything from regular terracotta pots to colorful salad bowls that have rounded bottoms.
With moving frequently an assumed part of being a young adult today, furniture startup Burrow has released a new line of modular sofas that are easily assembled, affordable (prices range from $550 for a single chair to $1,150 for a four-seat couch), and can adapt to new spaces with pieces that can be tacked on or removed. The company also mixed the principals of two millennial-loved companies–Ikea’s flatpack approach to shipping and Casper matresses’ one-week free shipping and 100-day free return policy.
Interior designers who have been looking for a way to streamline their creative and production processes will appreciate Morpholio‘s newest app feature, AVA. Short for Automated Visual Assembly, AVA makes it easier for users to create not just presentation boards but also to produce cut sheets and specs for drawings, and product lists for purchasing. As professional designers know, projects are imbued with many moving parts that are difficult to manage piecemeal. AVA puts all of these pieces in one program, allowing designers to do everything they need within one application, reducing the opportunity for error. Plus, it’s presentation ready, meaning there’s no need to spend hours laying out images and assembling the details for client review.
Paula Scher is one of the most recognizable names in the design world, considered legendary in the industry for creating the identities of major New York institutions. Scher moved to New York in the 1970s to begin her design career and got her start in the music industry. As art director for CBS, she designed around 150 albums a year and produced numerous ads and posters. Her record covers include everything from the Rolling Stones’ Still Life to Leonard Bernstein’s Stravinky, four of which were recognized with Grammy nominations. As a record designer, Scher was credited with reviving historical typefaces and design styles—and typefaces still play heavily in her work today.
Scher left Atlantic Records to begin her own design firm in 1982, and in 1991 she joined her current firm, Pentagram, as the company’s first female principal. Although Pentagram is an international design company, its New York office is behind the identities of some of the city’s most beloved establishments. It was at Pentagram Scher established her reputation as a New York designer who created unique, lasting identities.
This beautiful Park Avenue apartment from the The New Design Project reflects the elegance and refinement synonymous with its Upper East Side address but also boasts a unique downtown vibe made possible by the studio’s signature aesthetic. The light-filled home is adorned with modern furniture and lighting, as well as carefully curated floor treatments and accessories.
Future New Yorkers may travel between cities faster than ever before. Hyperloop One–the California-based tech company whose transportation concept was first proposed by Elon Musk– revealed its plan for a high-speed tube that could take passengers from NYC to D.C. in just 20 minutes, reports NBC New York (by comparison, Amtrak’s Acela Express currently takes a little more than three hours). Travelers would board magnetically levitating pods that move by electric propulsion and travel at more than 700 miles per hour. This would connect 80 percent of the country, making a cross-country trip just about five hours long. According to the company, nearly 83 million people would benefit from this hyperloop between our nation’s capital and the Big Apple.
When describing furniture as nomadic, it usually denotes lightweight, modular pieces that can easily be taken apart to move with you. But Dutch designer Wouter Scheublin created a table that needs no dismantling, as it can quite literally walk to your next home. Inspired by eight-legged creatures, the Walking Table is still graceful enough not to leave scuffing marks on your floor.
The first place winners of the New York Affordable Housing Challenge, an architectural competition run by Bee Breeders, have been announced. Kwong Von Glinow Design Office received first prize for their entry “The Table Top,” a modular system that aggregates and stacks to provide density and diversity in a city as varied as New York. Designed as a prototype for affordable housing in New York City, the flexible system could accommodate the city’s wide range of lot sizes and is adaptable to a variety of unit combinations for diverse types of residents. With an affordable housing crisis abetting an increasingly socially divided city with the majority of its residents spending over half of their annual income on rent, the project speaks to Mayor de Blasio’s emphasis on the dire need to create more affordable housing at both new and redeveloped existing sites.
For many city-dwellers, living spaces often comes limited, so much so that it’s not uncommon for homes to be referred to as “micro-apartments.” German designer Nils Holger Moormann has created Kammerspiel for these tiny abodes, a sleek, all-in-one unit for sleeping, eating, working and storage. This is the largest piece of furniture he’s ever engineered, and the purpose of the multi-functional structure is to provide a space-saving solution for people with limited square footage.
In our series 6sqft Studio Visits, we take you behind the scenes of the city’s up-and-coming and top designers, artists, and entrepreneurs to give you a peek into the minds, and spaces, of NYC’s creative force. In this installment we take a tour of the Bed-Stuy urban farm Square Roots. Want to see your studio featured here, or want to nominate a friend? Get in touch!
In a Bed-Stuy parking lot, across from the Marcy Houses (you’ll know this as Jay-Z’s childhood home) and behind the hulking Pfizer Building, is an urban farming accelerator that’s collectively producing the equivalent of a 20-acre farm. An assuming eye may see merely a collection of 10 shipping containers, but inside each of these is a hydroponic, climate-controlled farm growing GMO-free, spray-free, greens–“real food,” as Square Roots calls it. The incubator opened just this past November, a response by co-founders Kimbal Musk (Yes, Elon‘s brother) and Tobias Peggs against the industrial food system as a way to bring local food to urban settings. Each vertical farm is run by its own entrepreneur who runs his or her own sustainable business, selling directly to consumers. 6sqft recently visited Square Roots, went inside entrepreneur Paul Philpott‘s farm, and chatted with Tobias about the evolution of the company, its larger goals, and how food culture is changing.
Like New York, Boston’s subway system is organized with a different color for each route. Unlike NYC, however, there’s no corresponding numbers, so the lines along the T are actually referred to by their respective hues. Which is why Boston resident Ari Ofsevit, a transportation engineering and urban planning graduate student at MIT, found it odd that the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority didn’t use the same colors on their Twitter alerts as were found on their maps and signs. As Next City reported, this inspired him to create a graphic comparing the various colors of 13 major transit lines across the U.S. and Canada.
Two of the smartest things you can do when decorating your city-dwelling are to make use of indoor plants and to invest in multi-functional pieces of furniture. This brilliant new table, aptly named The Living Table, brings these two concepts together seamlessly. The innovative table design from Habitat Horticulture mimics how plants naturally absorb water from the ground, providing you with the perfect plant-ready furniture to house all of your favorite low-growing greenery.
New York City-based design firm Clouds Architecture Office has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would hang down from the sky suspended by air cables attached to an asteroid, making it the world’s tallest building. As dezeen learned, the supertall, dubbed Analemma Tower, would not be built on Earth but instead have a “space-based” foundation. Each day, the tower, which would be constructed over Dubai, would travel between the northern and southern hemispheres, with the slowest part of the tower’s trajectory occurring over New York City.
Proposed rendering of the Park Avenue foyer, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
On March 1st, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors to the public so that its new owners, Chinese insurer Anbang (who just today backed out of an even larger project to redevelop the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue) can undertake a two- to three-year renovation to convert 1,413 hotel rooms into 840 renovated hotel rooms and 321 condos, as well as spiff up the public spaces. This last part was worrisome at first, but earlier this month, these iconic Art Deco interiors were designated an official city landmark, meaning Anbang will need to preserve them and receive approvals for any work from the LPC. Wasting no time, they’ve now released plans for both the interior and exterior renovations and announced that architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and renowned interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon (PYR) will “protect [the] beloved spaces and restore original features of the Waldorf not seen for decades.”
Metals in Construction magazine has just announced the winner and finalists in the magazine’s 2017 Design Challenge, “Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge: Reimagine Structure.” The competition invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit their visions for combatting global warming in their design for a high-rise building. The winning design, “Orbit Tower,” was created by architects and engineers from ODA Architecture and Werner Sobek New York. The building–though purely conceptual for the purposes of the competition–would be located in midtown Manhattan at 1114 Sixth Avenue on the north side of Bryant Park in place of the Grace Building.
There are all types of stackable furniture out there, and while many of them function perfectly well, they’re not always the most design-friendly items in the room. Enter Stack. This new product line from the Providence-based design firm Debra Folz Design is a sleek, stylish and stackable addition to your home decor. The units are constructed as rectangular-shaped boxes that fit together through a series of grooves, each cut to accommodate metal rods.
When Superstorm Sandy hit the community of Red Hook, thousands of residents were left without power and basic necessities for over two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure suffered substantial damage, with almost all basement mechanical rooms destroyed. In an effort to rebuild Brooklyn’s largest housing development, Red Hook Houses, post-Sandy, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) commissioned a project by architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF). Their “Lily Pad” design includes installing 14 “utility pods” that deliver heat and electricity to each building, as well as creating raised earth mounds to act as a flood barrier (h/t Archpaper).
While you may have never heard of the term “bioswale,” you have probably seen these curbside gardens throughout the city. A bioswale, or rain garden, is a pit dug into the sidewalk that’s been filled with rocky soil and shrubbery. These gardens absorb polluted stormwater and prevent runoff that could seep into waterways through the sewer system. Despite being an effective solution to water pollution, the New York Times reports that some city residents are crying out against find bioswales, calling them unattractive, messy, and hotbeds for trash and pests.
Peter Kostelov transforms a dark uptown apartment into a multifunctional home with sliding furniture, Tue, March 21, 2017
Living in cramped New York quarters requires a specific approach to spatial planning that favors efficiency and functionality. In this previously dark uptown apartment with limited square footage, Russian Architect Peter Kostelov created a spacious, multi-functional home by combining a semi-open floorplan with a series of tucked-away furniture that can easily be pulled out or put away depending on which “room” the residents need.
Photo courtesy of Strongbow
With spring officially here, it’s the perfect time to visit your favorite park. While there are plenty to choose from, there’s only one that floats on water. As reported by Time Out, Swale, the collaborative floating food forest, which let visitors pick free produce last summer, is back with an updated design–“a blossoming apple orchard surrounded by garden beds filled with herbs, fruits and vegetables.” In a collaboration with Strongbow, the newly designed barge will be docking at public piers from April through October.
This massive home, dubbed the Gerken Residence, occupies 6,000 square feet of interior space, plus a 1,500-square-foot rooftop garden, all located on the top floors of a historic Tribeca building. Designed by Young Projects, the unique loft’s inner structure is comprised of three nested prisms that explore the relationship between solid and void. The floor plan also has various cuts strategically placed to hide and reveal the sky and city.
This fun product from the innovative design studio Nimuno takes our childhood LEGO obsession to a whole new level. Nimuno Loops are a flexible and cuttable plastic equipped with a block-friendly top surface and a reusable adhesive backing, allowing you to make any surface LEGO compatible.
New York City Architecture firm Oiio has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would curve at the top and then return to the ground, becoming what the firm believes to be the “longest” building to ever be created. As reported by dezeen, their “Big Bend” proposal challenges Manhattan’s obsession with supertall skyscrapers by substituting extreme height with length—stretching 4,000 feet from end to end. If they are able to design this building, Oiio hopes it could potentially provide a solution to the height limitations imposed by city zoning laws.