Sunday, December 18, 2005

This is What I'm Talking About

I don't know about you, but I'm getting really freakin' tired of luxury condo this, luxury condo that, especially when they're as uninspired as the Astor Place Sculpture for Living, which still infuriates me on a regular basis as I walk about the East Village (read Paul Goldberger's take-down, titled Green Monster, in the New Yorker here). I mean, if I can't afford to live in it, at least make it nice for me to look at.

But I digress. The fact is, there's a housing crisis in New York that the luxury condo glut is not going to fix because, no matter how bad the market gets, they'll let 'em sit empty before they rent 2000 square foot high-rise lofts to people making$75,000 a year (i.e. while the filtering effect is undoubtedly real, there is surely a limit). What we need to be erecting are fantastic and innovative buildings like this, discovered (belatedly) on one of my new favorite architecture and design blogs, Inhabitat:

A company in the UK has developed a high rise apartment concept ... Abito ... a testament to the wonders of technology and the huge potential of small spaces. The template is a 347-sq-ft apartment with a central pod that serves all the functions that are traditionally distributed among a number of rooms.

One side of the pod contains a bathroom behind double doors; another has a cupboard with washer/dryer hookups. A third side contains a his and hers wardrobe and a utility console, and the fourth contains a kitchen unit featuring integrated fridge/freezer, a two-burner range, an oven/microwave/grill combo, and a waste sorter. Opposite the wardrobe is a bedroom wall with a fold-up bed. Atop the pod is space for an extra bed or additional storage.... And every Abito apartment has a private balcony.

My favorite part is the two-burner range complimented by the oven/microwave/grill combo. Brilliant! What urban cook uses more than two burners at once? Several of these uber-efficient buildings are planned throughout the UK. Read and see more images here.