or pick a random keyword:

Making Carmel Place

Antti T Seppänen

Spacious living on a small scale.

nARCHITECTS' Carmel Place, (formerly known as My MICRO NY), with Monadnock Development is the winning proposal in adAPT NYC - an initiative started by Mayor Bloomberg to address the scarcity of small apartments in New York City. Completed in 2016, the building's design did not meet zoning requirements for NYC, but through the implementation of several mayoral overrides, this innovative prototype was able to be built. This video by Antti T Seppänen reveals the development and unique challenges of Carmel Place from the perspective of the architects through interviews and on-site construction footage.

Carmel Place contains 55 micro-units that range in size from 250 to 370 square feet (23 to 34 square meters) for a total of 35,000 square feet (3,250 square meters). The tall and narrow building is composed of four thin, stepped volumes that are clad in brick with sequential grayscale values. The micro-units were designed with custom built-in furniture that combines sofa, bed, and storage all in one - allowing the quick conversion from living room to bedroom. The furniture is complemented by efficient plans and tall sections (over nine feet or 2.7 meters) that maximize light and overhead storage, and operable sliding glass doors with Juliet balconies - all contributing to an overall more spacious feel in each unit.

Seppänen's video documents the "behind the scenes" of the construction of Carmel Place. His interviews with nArchitects reveal concerns about the speed of schedule and the method of prefabrication. The drama is enhanced in the video by the use of black and white and color imagery. The interviews are mixed in with shots of construction on both sites: the project site in Manhattan, and the prefabrication site of the micro-units in Brooklyn. The documentary style combining the interviews with construction footage works to provide insight into the how such an ambitious came to fruition.

nArchitects' Carmel Place is a prototype for a new approach to living in high density cities. The project provides some solutions to the problems of equitable housing choices for small households in high rent locations, while doing so with regard to the quality of life of the dwellings' inhabitants.

(Story by Jacob Sas, The Architecture Player)


Architect: nARCHITECTS
Mentioned project: Carmel Place (2013-2016)
Project location: New York, USA
Camera: Antti T Seppänen, Avi Michael, Nelson Walker
Still photography: Iwan Baan, Pablo Enriquez
Editor: Antti T Seppänen
Musics: Victoria Bond (composer), Olga Vinokur (pianist)

Finland 2016
Duration: 10'15''