For those living in highly populated cities including New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo, whether by choice or not, having to often live in a small space is what is expected. For some, it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to live in arguably one of the “best cities in the world”, avoid long commutes or find employment. As more people populate these areas, more space is needed to accommodate them resulting in the need for compact and cleverly designed living spaces that have become increasingly trendy in urban development.
While New York City currently has 275 square feet apartments under trial and Vancouver’s micro-lofts measure some 226 square feet, the city of San Francisco has recently tentatively approved the trial run of 220 square foot “micro-apartments” developed by Patrick Kennedy that will give the dweller everything he or she needs right at their fingertips, quite literally. With the small dimensions with which to work, competition to come up with the best floor plan among architects and designers is high.
San Francisco already has the SmartSpace micro-apartment building that was recently unveiled by Kennedy. These apartments however, measure between 285 to 310 square feet, larger than the 220 square foot apartments pending ratification and mayoral approval.
The apartments at SmartSpace contain two rooms, one of which is a bathroom and the other, the bedroom, lounge area, kitchen and work area. For some apartments, one area or piece of furniture doubles as something else – a bed can convert into a dining table and a window seat is fitted with a hydraulic pop-up table or SmartBench. In a space of this size, cleverly designed furniture, sufficient ventilation and innovative storage spaces are crucial.
According to Kennedy, the ideal resident at which apartments of this size are aimed is “the 26-year-old who’s moving to San Francisco for a Silicon Valley job”.
Kennedy plans to build many more micro-apartment complexes in San Francisco once the new unit size has been approved. “Before we undertake that we want to get something in black and white that says you can have a unit this size. It’s kind of a gray area, that’s why. There’s never been any formal plan for it,” Says Kennedy.
Would you live in a 220 square foot SmartSpace complex apartment – even for a job in Silicon Valley?