Photos by Frank Oudeman/OTTO
MINI has been working for the past couple years to expand its purview from tiny cars to tiny homes. Their endeavor began with a micro-living concept to address a lack of attractive, affordable housing in urban settings, and they’ve now expanded on this idea with an even more compact and personal model. First revealed at last month’s London Design Week, the MINI Living Urban Cabin “fuses clever use of space with insights from local architects to create an area and structure suited for their city.” British architect Sam Jacob was inspired by London’s decline in libraries, but here in NYC, Greenwich Village-based firm Bureau V responded to larger global issues and based their design around New York’s history as an immigrant city.
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Automotive manufacturer MINI began as a solution to a global oil crisis, and now the company is looking to address another major issue–a lack of attractive, affordable housing in urban settings. Not surprisingly, they’ve turned to a micro version of co-living. Called MINI LIVING, the installation showcases 323-square-foot apartments with fold-out shelving units that serve multiple purposes and blur the lines behind public and private in what they’re calling a larger “micro-neighborhood.”
Take a look around the space
We’ve been hearing a lot recently about the city’s new micro-apartments. As 6sqft has reported, NYC’s first micro-apartment complex Carmel Place (formerly My Micro NY) at 335 East 27th Street began leasing at the end of last year. The nine-story modular development in Kips Bay has 55 studios that are 260 to 360 square feet. Of these, 22 are affordable and they’ll go from $950 to $1,500 a month.
Market-rate units on the other end range from $2,540 to $2,910. According to CityRealty, the average rental price per square foot for New York City apartments overall is $51, while Carmel Place units ring in at $98 per square foot. The idea of micro-housing was presented, in part, to address the need for more affordable apartments. So why is it that the result is what a recent New Yorker article calls “micro-luxury” housing?
Small Is Beautiful–but Not Affordable