Manhattan's micro lofts: The future of urban living?

Finding ways to maximize space in cities is becoming more than a new design challenge -- it's becoming crucial.

As populations surge in cities including London and New York, finding ways to maximize space is becoming more than a new design challenge -- it's becoming crucial.

This year, New York City accepted a proposal to build the first official micro-unit apartment building in Manhattan. The building will consist of 55 apartments measuring between 250 and 370 square feet each, and according to city officials, these will be priced at "affordable" rates.

For architects Specht Harpman, just because you're limited in space doesn't mean that living has to feel cramped. Taking on what co-principal Scott Specht calls a "dream project," the team transformed a 425-square-foot New York apartment and made it into something special.

By focusing on vertical space and using 3D vizualizations, the architects were able to employ a number of space-saving techniques; including raised platforms to give the apartment the impression of more space, creating storage space under staircases and keeping clutter to a minimum discreetly.

"Micro living is very hot right now," Specht told Co. Design. "But it's not something appropriate for everyone or for every city."

Micro living may not seem palatable for many of us, but it may end up becoming the norm in most major cities. Given the right architects to take on the challenge, living in a small apartment might not be all that bad.

Read More: Fast Co.Design // Visit the project

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com