Fall 2015


"House M"
A surprising transformation opens this residence towards protected landscape in the Netherlands.

A traditional home has undergone a drastic makeover: all of the unnecessary elements were removed from the old house and the building was clad with a new insulated facade so that a clear, recognizable form would remain.

Read more about it and see more pictures on


NYC Micro-Unit Apartment Competition Winner
by H Alex Harrison, Esq.

On January 22, 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, together with city officials, announced the winner of the adAPT NYC Competition – a pilot program to develop a new housing model for the city’s growing small-household population. The winning entry, ‘My Micro NY,’ was designed by a development team comprising Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS.

adAPT NYC is a pilot program that was launched in July 2012 through a Request for Proposals to develop a new model of housing – micro-units. The proposals were evaluated on several criteria, including innovative micro-unit layout and building design. The
MMNY proposal excelled in this category, with features like generous 9’-10” floor-to-ceiling heights and Juliette balconies that provide substantial access to light and air. The micro-units developed as part of this pilot will measure between 250 and 370 square feet.

Modular by design, the 55 micro-unit construction is reminiscent of the famous Habitat 67, designed by Moshe Safdie, which debuted at the 1967 Worlds Fair in Montreal, Canada. Safdie's design for Habitat 67 began as a thesis project for his architecture program at McGill University. Habitat 67 comprises 354 identical, prefabricated concrete forms arranged in various combinations, reaching up to 12 stories in height. Together, these units create 146 residences of varying sizes and configurations, each formed from one to eight linked concrete units.

The biggest difference between Habitat 67 and MMNY is MMNY’s transforming use of interior space. In lieu of fixed spaces, MMNY apartments offer a novel and innovative use of “programmable space,” which allows occupants to adjust the size and use of a room depending on their needs throughout the day.

Each unit comprises two distinct zones: a ‘toolbox’ zone containing a kitchen, bathroom and storage space; and a ‘canvas’ zone providing ample, well-proportioned flexible space allowing for individual expression, and serving as the primary living and sleeping area.

As micro-apartment living becomes more trendy, the appraisal industry will likely see an increase in appraisals of this type.

To view a video walkthrough of the My Micro NY concept,
click here.


China’s New “Urban Forest”
Inspired by mountainous Chinese landscapes and the traditional villages built their hillsides, MAD Architects has unveiled plans to create a towering vertical Urban Forest. Designed for Chongqing, China, the projects consists of a stacked vertical forest set in the heart of the city, designed to bring more nature and open space in a dense and compact way. MAD Architects is becoming more known for their sustainable designs, and hopefully the green design aspects of this new tower extend beyond the garden spaces on each floor.

Urban Forest is a commercial high-rise building that takes the form of an urban mountain with over 70 floors, each one different and unique. Each floor is an abstract curved shape, layered slightly off-center to give the facade an organic look as it rises up into the sky. A central cylindrical core structure supports all the floors and hosts the mechanical systems and elevators.

Each floor is also covered in floor-to-ceiling glass windows, providing expansive views of the city. A walk-around balcony of differing widths hosts the green garden space, as well as pools, trees, and courtyards. Some floors are nothing but open space, while others contain offices or residential space. Each floor is seen as a separate and unique level of the urban forest and is meant to combine both nature and the urban metropolis.

Read more at SkyScraper Page Forum