5:1 Apartment

New York
Architects
MKCA // Michael K Chen Architecture
Year
2014
Team
Braden Caldwell, Julian Anderson, Michael Chen

A transforming apartment for a compact but well lived home life in New York. The 5:1 Apartment integrates the functional and spatial elements for living, working, sleeping, dressing and entertaining, plus a kitchen, dining and bathing spaces within 390 sf.

Situated in a 1920’s co-op building in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, the apartment was entirely reimagined by MKCA. A sliding storage element glides from one end of the room to the other, revealing and exchanging spaces between daytime and nighttime zones. As the moving volume pulls away from the wall, it reveals a dressing room space with built-in clothing storage. Fully extended, the space for a queen-sized fold-down bed is created. The sliding element is powered and cabled for a television and houses all of the audiovisual and networking components of the apartment along with additional storage and display space. A pivoting enclosure with custom speakers allows the television to rotate 180 degrees for viewing from the seating area, or the bed and dressing rooms. At the opposite end of the room are spaces for a home office, a dry bar, and library.

A scenario-based design approach was employed with a particular emphasis on the ergonomics and choreography of the body in space. The exchange of volume between nighttime and daytime increases the number of individual uses in the transforming apartment but also greatly expands the range of different spaces and experiences that the tiny footprint would otherwise afford.

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