adAPT NYC Winner Coming to Manhattan Soon
It’s been nearly two years since the winner of the adAPT NYC competition–the city’s pilot program for micro-housing–was announced. The winner, dubbed ‘My Micro NY’ and helmed by nArchitects and Monadnock Development, is to be a 9 story, 54 unit building in the Kips Bay Neighborhood of Manhattan. Beside the small size of its units (250 to 370 sq ft), the building is innovative in its use of prefabricated construction.
Theoretically, prefab construction boasts a number of advantages over conventional building. Systematizing construction allows for perfecting processes and avoiding snags that often beset one-off construction. Perhaps more importantly, building in an indoor, controlled space helps mitigate many site and climate unknowns that can delay construction.
This theory didn’t pan out across the East River at B2 in Brooklyn, which, at 32 stories, will be the tallest prefab building in the world. The project has been beset by construction, engineering and budgetary problems, extending the initial 18 month projected turnaround to four years.
But nine stories is a lot different than 32 and a recent article in The Atlantic gives no indication of problems with My Micro and says the units will be put in place later this winter. They will come virtually move-in ready from their manufacturing facilities in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, trucked into Manhattan and stacked on top of one another with a crane. Transforming furniture will be sold separately.
My Micro is a great symbol of the city’s willingness to seek out solutions for its housing shortage. Unfortunately, a 54 unit symbol will not make much of an impact in the big scheme of things. The city still has the same minimum size requirements it did two years ago (400 sq ft in most places) and still has laws that stymy adding density and providing affordable housing options–e.g. it’s illegal for more than three non-related individuals to share a house. We hope the De Blasio administration will pick up Bloomberg’s small-space-housing-advocacy baton, leading to more smart, affordable housing and fewer symbols.