Tiny Origami apartment in Manhattan unfolds into 4 rooms




In 2005, third-grade-teacher Eric Schneider bought as big as an apartment as he could afford in Manhattan. He paid $235,000 for a 450-square-foot studio with a tiny kitchen.

Then he let architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects design a way to pack more density into his small space.

In order to fit more apartment in a small footprint, they created an object that’s bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture and that morphs with the changing activities of a day.

It’s a large, blue, oversized cabinet that houses all of the walls/bed/tables/shelving/closets needed for at least 4 full-sized rooms.

By continuing to unfold, or fold differently, Schneider can create a bedroom with accompanying built-in nightstand and closets, but an office plus library, a guest bedroom, and a living room. Or close it up entirely and simply flip down the small bar and the room becomes entertaining space for a dozen.

The Normal Projects architects called their creation the Unfolding Apartment, though given Schneider’s affinity for the Japanese sense of space (he spent his first year post-college living and teaching in Japan), it could as easily be called the Origami Apartment.

In total, Schneider spent $70,000 total remodeling his new apartment and this includes not just the cabinet, but the bathroom renovation, all cabinetry, kitchen appliances, furniture and dishes.

In this video, Chen shows us his custom cabinet of rooms and Schneider unfolds a few of his favorite configurations: his bedroom (& closet/changing room), office (& library), guest bedroom, kitchen, dining bar, living room and lounge.

Normal Projects/Michael Chen Architecture:

Original story here:

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25 Comments

  1. extraordinarylawns
    November 27, 2017
    Reply

    Bathroom ?

  2. Lenny Prosado
    November 29, 2017
    Reply

    I'm intrigued by minimalist's infatuation with "things". That is, their obsession with not wanting " things". As if. " things" are what makes the world go round. Like these two, they don't want " things" yet according to the video all one sees is " things". Ugh. Hypocrites. Next!™

  3. Jason Musk
    November 30, 2017
    Reply

    enjoy your cell, hope you post bail soon

  4. butterfly lover
    December 1, 2017
    Reply

    that is so cool thats the way

  5. A10TOES
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    I like this apartment.

  6. kaila62kaila
    December 4, 2017
    Reply

    OMG! Unbelievable, but I think it works!

  7. kaila62kaila
    December 4, 2017
    Reply

    I'm from NYC. Believe me most NYers just eat, shower and sleep in their apartments or homes…We really live outside…The City is our real home, playground…

  8. Rod Schermerhorn
    December 4, 2017
    Reply

    Cool

  9. Melanie Deann
    December 5, 2017
    Reply

    Beautifully designed. Thoughtful and functional.

  10. oldman baller50
    December 5, 2017
    Reply

    I really like that space

  11. dolce maddalena
    December 5, 2017
    Reply

    Tastefully done. I like it and I could live comfortably in that.

  12. Michael Kidera
    December 6, 2017
    Reply

    not at all a minimalists, compact and organized. eh its ok…

  13. Slivings911
    December 7, 2017
    Reply

    This is beautifully designed. The only thing I would add (though you didn't show the bathroom) is an adjustable height table in the living room that could multi purpose as a coffee/cocktail table and dining table for when you want to have a sit down meal together or with friends. I haven't yet seen any particularly attractive ones, though the very industrial looking ones would probably be nice in a converted industrial space. It's just something I've had on my mind lately, watching videos of small space designs. Again, I love what you guys have done in yours!

  14. Dan Rigsley
    December 8, 2017
    Reply

    Not a fan of unfolding stuff. They could of just add an upstairs loft bed pad.

  15. 3WhiteCrow
    December 8, 2017
    Reply

    No mention of a bathroom?

  16. oltedders
    December 9, 2017
    Reply

    Nice butt. It must be from all of the squatting, bending over and climbing he has to do to get things pulled out or brought down.

  17. Rosemary Williams
    December 13, 2017
    Reply

    so this is how rich people live…location location right?

  18. Rosemary Williams
    December 13, 2017
    Reply

    in San Francisco studios bathroom is around the corner hope it's the same for you or you are over paying.

  19. W.A. watson
    December 13, 2017
    Reply

    I don't think you could walk around in the nude and feel comfortable (unless your an exhibitionist). I'm a native New Yorker, but I still haven't come to terms with very tiny spaces which are called apartments. When New York City became too expensive or apartments were unavailable people (many Whites) fled to the outer boroughs. Neighborhoods that most whites (except those living a bohemian lifestyle) frowned upon in the past became desirable.
    Areas that had a large minority population were gentrified. On one hand it was a positive impact on areas which had been deteriorating for years. On the other hand rents went up, up and the little guy was pushed out. I don't think it bothered too many people. New York is a fun and exciting place to live and work, but it comes with many challenges. If your willing to pay super high rents then welcome to New York.

  20. Christine Newhouse
    December 14, 2017
    Reply

    This is not for everyone..But if it works for them…GREAT! If its just me..I would live in it..Less is more..

  21. 2010mistersoftee
    December 14, 2017
    Reply

    OK I have to ask, the Bathroom is we’re again????
    Love it,

  22. Ed Tin
    December 15, 2017
    Reply

    This is so sad, why would anyone who could afford to shell out $235k live in such a dismal space?

  23. Cindy DeMarche DeMarche
    December 16, 2017
    Reply

    Where is the bathroom?

  24. Lorraine Currier
    December 16, 2017
    Reply

    Cool.. the desk chair sucks.. need a more ergonomic chair. That one is uggggly

  25. unaanguila
    December 18, 2017
    Reply

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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