Maximum Use of Minimum Space

Most New Yorkers share the same urban lifestyle: they live in small apartments with limited space. Last weekend, I found out about a new and inspiring approach to solving the space problem in urban living situations.

URBIA is a furniture expansion system for small apartments in big cities created by Obra Architects with Site Assembly. Thanks to the great weekend event openhousenewyork, we were allowed to visit the architect’s private apartment, which is furnished and designed with the URBIA furniture system throughout.

Residents, Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee (of Obra Architects), explained that the system is composed of hollow wood panels and cabinet units that can partition a space vertically, or horizontally. By creating another room or adding a loft floor, you can design your unique and individual apartment within your existing floor plan.

The wooden elements are all designed for minimum weight, uncomplicated transport (the 2’x8’ panels easily fit through doors and into elevators) and easy installation. The circular holes are not only a nice ornamentation — they serve to put the elements together and, as Pablo said, also turned out to be a nice way to allow light through the newly erected walls. Plus, when you move out, you can take the rooms with you!

Thanks to Marc for his recommendation to see one of the openhousenewyork tours. It was a great experience to talk with the architects and I am truly impressed by their system, which allows maximum use of minimum space.