Small is big for GSD alums

A partnership including several GSD alums just won a major bid for the first-of-its-kind modular building of micro-units in NYC. Alphonse Lembo (MUP ’10) of Monadnock Development led the team which included Eric Bunge (MArch ’96) and Mimi Hoang (MArch ’98) of nARCHITECTS, along with the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation.
The innovative $15 million project, dubbed My Micro NY, is sparking a discussion about urban living space here in the US and has pushed modular design and construction to the forefront as a more sustainable, lower impact, faster and more energy-efficient method of construction.
My Micro NYThe 55 units will range in size between 250 and 370 square feet, featuring 9’10” ceilings, 9′ windows, juliet balconies and a 16′ overhead storage loft.  Forty percent of the units are committed for affordable housing. They meet or exceed all state, federal and local requirements – including handicap accessibility – except for a prohibition on total size of the units which the city waived on a pilot basis. There are also a number of common spaces and amenities, including multi-purpose space for creative activities, café, roof garden, ground-floor porch, den areas and lounge, along with a laundry room, storage, bike room and fitness center.  
The modules will be prefabricated in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and transported to the site in Kips Bay, where they will snap together and go up very quickly.  The project is expected to break ground late in 2013 to be ready to open a year later.  
An installation at the Museum of New York City through September 15 displays a 325-square-foot model of a fully-furnished studio. It also features the designs of the competition winner and four finalists.
See the recent Today Show segment on the project.

Listen to an interview with Eric Bunge on WBUR’s Here and Now.
 Images courtesy of for the exterior and for the interior renderings.