NYC moves fast. You're a businessman, sports enthusiast, entertainer and an
architect. You don't have time to move around walls and disassemble and
re-erect your digs on a daily basis.
Strangely enough I was inspired by a Facebook post by one of my old
college buddies. It was a post of the video "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul
Simon. In the video Paul Simon and Chevy Chase are in a white room with
a black door shaped void that Simon walks in and out of with various
items. Chase lip syncs the lyrics while Simon looks annoyed and nervous.
The video is entertaining, simple and timeless.
I wanted to recreate the look of the video in my design. I started with
the door. A black door just wouldn't cut it. My solution to this was
create a small foyer with a sliding glass door.
Countless hours and a few sleepless nights led to what you see. I
apologize for some of the poor rendering ahead of time. I don't have a
$1,000 rendering program but what I lack in visual aesthetic I make up
for in idea. No curtains, no cumbersome slabs of moving wall.
The apartment should work for you. Automation is a nice addition to the
modern life. In this apartment the lights dim, the heat is controlled,
the TV rotates where you want it to. All with the power of your voice or
What is controlled?
Television Rotation ( think how nice this would be for telepresence).
With the materials used I focused on sustainability, energy usage and
For all the cabinetry and kitchen table are bamboo construction. It's
very hard, lasts and can be constructed using very thin pieces. Even
using 1/4" thick bamboo a sturdy structure that will last many years can
be achieved. By using thinner boards it will maximize the amount of
storage with the units.
All the bamboo furniture will be painted using low VOC high gloss white
paint. This paint maximizes reflectivity and reduces energy consumption
by using less artificial light.
As exterior invading light is valuable I used glass as the main bathroom
component. Bathrooms block light. This bathroom lets most of it
Another thought was to refinish and reuse the original floor. Take off
some or all of that red paint and slap it back down. The red paint would
add a splash of color to the space.
I'm going to try my best to break down the concepts of the design
starting with where I started: The foyer.
The foyer has many reasons for being. It is a "dirty" (not really that dirty) area.
Kick your shoes off and come in to the clean. The sliding door to the
main living area increases security. Get through the first door and
there is a second. The second door also eliminates the invasion of cold
or hot air from the hallway.
Within the foyer you will find:
-Thinbike Storage including an easy to clean drip tray (to capture dirt
and water brought in from the elements). I am a year round biker in
Minnesota. I know how important this is.
The rolling tool chest with small working area on top.
A spacious recycling and reuse center
The Bike Stand. This is used for power generation, exercise and bike
A shoe rack (with enough space for twelve pairs of shoes.
A coat closet.
Next is the bathroom. As featured on the Life Edited blog I have used
glass as the wall material.
- The "J-Loo" This is my take on the toilet/sink combo featured on the
blog. The J-Loo features a grey water reuse system
A Large Steam Shower.
I still need to integrate a medicine cabinet (I have a really good
idea for that).
I have fitted all the required appliances with in the kitchen. You had
mentioned you liked the kitchen you open to the rest of the living
space, be open. When washing dishes you'll have a view out the lightwell
window. Better than a blank wall I guess.
The table is wall mounted. The total length is 7 feet and 10 feet with
the arm-in-sleeve style leaf pulled out.
Each set of two legs holds two resource furniture CIAK chairs.
The main guest seating is achieved using four BINGbamBENCHes (more about
that later). Twelve guests are seated in comfort. When not in use three
benches store against the wall and the fourth becomes the living area
The master suite simply holds the Resource Furniture Ulisse queen bed.
Opposite the Ulisse is the UMI and a central wardrobe for
Guest / Living Area:
A Resource furniture DOC couch is the anchor of the space. This couch
converts to a bunk for two guests. Again, opposite is a wardrobe for
clothing/general storage plus the UMI. From the couch the occupant
should be afforded a good view of the neighborhood.
General un-designed storage:
The unit adjacent the guest space is an undefined wedge of storage area.
I will let you configure that space to your choosing.
Office / Sustainability Hardware:
The office meets your size specs. I have seen so many (almost all) the
designs lacking a proper sized monitor. Mine is 31". Perpendicular to
the monitor on its own platform is the MacBook Pro. Above the 31"
Monitor is the main Mac server and document scanner (not pictured).
Above the computer and scanner is the DC to AC power inverter. This take
the energy produced by bike generator and turns it
into usable power for small appliances and electronics charging. On the top shelf is a battery bank (after the deletion of the solar panels the bank will be much smaller than pictured).
Main living area:
This is an open area. Do what you want with it. The main idea is to have
open space? Right? Just use it and enjoy it. The only main component that invades into the main space is the flip down table.
For me this one is a no-brainer. Exercise in the winter, create power,
fix your bike. You have the bike inside. All you need is the stand,
generator and wiring and you have power generation. Plus it all tucks
neatly into the foyer.
The Central Monolith: The most important part of this entire design may be what I call the central monolith. It's the least noticeable and possibly the most important. The monolith is the storage area jutting out from the wall between the master and guest suites. This unit separates the rooms and allows for privacy doors on each room. When the doors are open and someone walks into the apartment from the outside world the open space is laid before them. The is no obstruction to the space and windows beyond.
I would live in this concept. Would you? It's a design that is
comfortable and doesn't compromise space for function. Again, I have to
reiterate that there are no moving walls, the furniture is comfy and
curtains are nonexistent. I'm also pretty sure it's the greenest of all
the designs in the contest. Heck, maybe Paul and Chevy will come over to do a duet.