Who’s Building Philly: Alon Seltzer

One of Alon Seltzer's Rittenhouse Savoy studio makeovers. | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Alon Seltzer’s own Rittenhouse Savoy studio was one of two makeovers that wowed viewers during Zillow’s “Tiny House Week.” | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Before the “tiny house,” there was the Rittenhouse Square efficiency apartment.

These shoeboxes for urban cliff dwellers enabled singles and others whose desire for urban living exceeded their need for space to take advantage of all the city had to offer: parks, cafés, shopping, culture, you name it. When the city was your living room, why bother with one of your own?

That attribute makes these efficiencies and studios popular with a younger set even now. But there’s a hitch: Back in the 1950s, when most of the apartment buildings containing these units were built, they weren’t terribly efficient in the way they used their limited space. And their appearance had likewise become dated.

Enter Alon Seltzer with his repair kit. Read more »

An Instant House for $10K: Just Print It and Go

This 400-square-foot home took just over a day to complete and equip. | Photo: Designboom

This 400-square-foot home took just over a day to complete and equip. | Photo: Designboom

From Moscow comes a novel solution to the affordable-housing problem:

A tiny home that took just 24 hours to build from start to finish and cost just slightly more than $10,000 to build.

Whoops, did we say “build”? We meant “print.” Read more »

PHOTOS: Allan Domb’s New “Micro Apartments” at 1955 Locust

Arielle Gottlieb over at Allan Domb’s office sent us some information about the busy investor/developer’s latest project:

1955 Locust is a 9-unit building with micro-apartments ranging in size from 352 square feet to 510 square feet. There is one studio and the remainder are true one bedroom units. Although brand new, 1955 Locust stays true to many of its original building details such as oversized windows, high ceilings, restored wainscoting and other woodwork, and some homes even have the original marble fireplace mantels.

Despite being so small, each unit has high-end finishes and features including: hardwood floors throughout; bathrooms with stylish vanities and tile detail; kitchens with wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops; and Bosch stackable washers and dryers.

Prices start at $1,390 per month.

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Most Unusual Rental: Room at the Top of a 38-Foot Silo in Upper Bucks

The folks at Mimosa Tree Bed and Breakfast is looking for a caretaker for its animals: a guinea hen, a swan, a potbellied pig, two ducks and two peacocks). In return for two shifts of care, each of which is 15 to 20 minutes, there’s a rental in the top two floors of a renovated silo that’s 9 feet around (speaking of “cozy”) and has a 14-foot ceiling. The first level has a lovely black marble topped-sink and a claw foot tub (with a shower) and a medium-sized refrigerator. The second level has an air conditioner and a double bed with a view of the farmland’s 20 acres.

“It is a very small private space,” says the listing, and at a total of 127 square feet, that seems a fair statement. But what a unique experience this would be, particularly as the apartment is accessed by a staircase on the outside of the silo.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Video Profile of a 78-Square-Foot Rental in Manhattan

This is a unbelievable. This young gent, who studies architecture, lives in Manhattan in 78 square feet. Not only that, but he likes it, is good-natured about it, and with some sweat equity and a few trips to Home Depot, has made it pretty darn livable–even a bit enviable. There’s not really any reason that human beings take up so much space, if you think about it.

On the other hand, it’s shocking to hear how much he pays for the place. Only in New York.

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The Tiny House Movement Gets the Ultimate Sendup

It hasn’t happened much in Philadelphia (though it has in Kennett Square), but in other parts of the country, throwing out all your junk and moving into an extrely tiny house has become the ultimate rejection of materialism, capitalism, global warmingism and every other -ism that is decidedly unhip. The online locus for this cozy culture is the Tiny House Blog, and it’s no surprise that the majority of the submissions the site gets are from the West Coast–and from Portland most of all.

Read more »

Property’s Morning Obsession: Amazing Miniature Houseboat

Each year the hobbyist website and store Miniatures.com has a contest that, on the surface, would seem irrelevant to the sophisticated, educated readership of this blog. But no, my friends. Not at all. In fact, we simply can’t get enough of these photos, found on Curbed National, of the exquisitely little worlds created by miniaturists all over the country—worlds that make you want to crawl into them and escape from the everyday of your own life.

In particular, we admire this incredibly detailed and alluring miniature houseboat interior, which calls to mind languid days at the Jersey shore, away from the storm und drang (ahem) of East Coast weather. For more of what really are rather amazing creations, check out all the contest entries, including some rather forward-looking modernist architecture and a little bit of Wes Anderson-style twee.

HBS/miniatures.com 19th Creatin’ Contest