A possible solution to New York's increasing over-crowding problem has been unveiled as "micro-apartments", a collection of tiny blocks measuring as little as 23 sq m each.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the winner of the design competition the city held to find a way to cram more people into less space.
The winning design team – comprising Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS – plan to complete the block of 55 units by the end of 2015.
Each apartment features 3m-high ceilings, a full kitchen, lounge area, bedroom and balcony, but measures only between 250 and 370sq ft (23 to 35sq m).
That is little more than two average-size shipping containers.
The designers can cram all those features in because the rooms are made to change so they can be used for different things.
For example, the bed can fold away to be replaced by a couch when entertaining guests.
They also use large windows, lofts for storage, and juliet balconies which do not protrude from the building.
Mr Bloomberg says the city has a shortfall of 800,000 apartments and it's only going to get worse, according to the New York Times.
The 10-storey-high apartment block will also be the city's first to use modular construction – the units will be made off-site and then stacked on top of one another like shipping containers.
The apartments are meant to be an "affordable" option – 40% will be reserved for people earning between $US48,100 and $US93,310 a year.
Rent for those will be between $US939 and $US1873 a month.
The rest will be sold at market rate – the average monthly rent for a studio in December was $US2282, Bloomberg says.
New York normally does not allow apartments of less than 400sq ft to be built, but made an exception for this competition.
A similar project is under way in Boston where several hundred 300sq ft units are being developed.
The trend has been occurring in many of the world's large cities, including London, Vancouver and Tokyo.
In Madre de Deus, Brazil, is an apartment 10m high and just one metre wide.
Designed by Helenita Queiroz Grave Minho, who lives in it, it has two rooms, a kitchen, three bedrooms with bathrooms and a veranda.
Compact-design has also made its mark in Toronto, where the city's "little house" was built between two existing houses, although it was not built because of modern space constraints.
Measuring just 312sq ft (29sq m), it was built in 1912 by developer Arthur Weeden.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- TradeGecko 'doing millions in revenue' as ex-Kiwi startup builds customers from Singapore
- Trump’s close financial & political ties with Russia will ultimately hurt him, security expert says
- MARKET CLOSE: Stocks drop, A2 Milk falls ahead of legal challenge, Fletcher Building gains
- Parking makes sense in Cambridge company’s multi-million dollar US win
- Pushpay director says why he bought $1.8m worth of shares
Most listened to
- The Unitary Plan will change the face of Auckland. NBR reporter Sally Lindsay looks at the changes
- Rabobank's newly appointed CEO Daryl Johnson answers seven key questions on this agriculture industry
- In Editor's Insight, Nevil Gibson examines new revelations about downing of Flight MH370
- InternetNZ boss's two problems with TPP legislation
- Germany’s terror and Turkish torture on Foreign Affairs Scope with Nathan Smith