Minding the Gap: A Transformative Housing Innovation
Space between buildings to be filled by lofts

With over 4,000 food vendors occupying the streets and the largest mass transit system in the world underneath them, it is clear NYC is a hot spot to live in. So hot, in fact, that residents will even assent to living in a “converted” 6x12 bedroom with no closet. And now, Denmark architects Ole Robin Storjohann and Mateusz Mastalski have designed  award-winning micro-apartments for urban dwellers. The idea is to fill the narrow gaps between buildings with perched loftsan idea that won the first prize for roof window manufacturer FAKRO’s “New Vision of the Loft 2” competition.

The competition asked designers to develop concepts for urban loft spaces that would be functional, space-saving, energy efficient, and full of natural light. All entries had to include Fakro products. The designers illustrated, in a series of diagrams, how their concept could work in highly dense cities such as New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Helsinki, and London.

The design, entitled Live Between Buildings!, proposes filling unused gaps between buildings with lightweight lofts, based on FAKRO technology. These lofts come with the standard kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. There is also the swing, hammock, and indoor gardenThe in-house infrastructure includes ladders and a climbing wall to get to the ceiling. Thank goodness we walk so much in NY—it would be quite difficult to wall-climb if we were out of shape!

These micro-houses come in playful shapes—as if climbing walls and swings weren’t enough fun—an X, an O, a tree, a cloud, a speech bubble, and a space invader, are all potential configurations. FAKRO has said that the winning infill-loft dwellings could be realized entirely out of roof windows. “The possibility of shapes is endless,” the firm added. 

With minimal footprint and facade surface, but a maximum of living quality, the Live Between Buildings! project contributes to a denser, more sustainable city of the future. Now when does our lease let-up, again?