Splendid 425-Square-Foot Apartment: Manhattan Micro-Loft, New York by Specht Harpman Architects

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What will you do when you are handed a tiny 425-square-foot apartment on the Upper West Side atop a six- story Brownstone, and you are not a hermit? You will call Specht Harpman Architects just like the owner of this difficult space. Specht Harpman Architects are listed amongst the Top 50 architectural practices in the world by Wallpaper magazine, and if they continue to perform as marvelously as they did with this Manhattan Micro-Loft, they will surely make it to the Top 10.

Believe it or not, this 425-square-foot pied-à-terre has four levels and a height of approximately 25 feet. While it has been said that apartments in New York lack space, I am certain they did not mean this much space. The ingenuity that was displayed in organizing this flat is so astounding that from the entryway to the rooftop garden, little splendid surprises await us at every turn.

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On the second level, just steps above the kitchen area, is the living room. A full sized functional sofa in cornflower blue greets guests who are invited for a casual gathering. A well placed area rug and imaginative lighting provide for a delightful contemporary feel.

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A monochromatic kitchen flows with the painted brick walls around the project to add the sensation of more space. All of the appliances in the kitchen are concealed, and an induction cooktop further lends to the illusion of openness. Notice there is no dining area on either the first or second levels of the home nor are there barstools for the rectilinear counter in the kitchen. In keeping with the extemporaneous allure of the loft, the living area doubles the common dining space.

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The main bathroom of the unit is located underneath the staircase to continue the maximization of space.

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While working with a limited area, it is important to formulate a plan to utilize every inch as efficiently and as effectively as possible. This was the thought in mind, when the designers decided that storage bins should be made into the traditionally unused space beneath the steps in the absence of conventional closets.

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The cantilevered bed on the third level is strengthened by the hanging steel beams as is the staircase. The dark wood veneers throughout the apartment are used to weight down the airiness of the white paint found on all levels of the home.

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The exposures at the top of the staircase lead the way to a quaint rooftop garden adding even more intrigue to this meager space.