Other amenities in the 12-foot-by-24-foot model include a cute bathroom that is 5 feet 9 inches by 7 feet 9 inches, a refrigerator and separate freezer tucked under the counter, and the holy grail of New York apartments, a dishwasher. The Murphy bed, like most of the features, glides out with only a light touch of the hand.
"It's almost like a space shuttle or an ocean liner in how it's designed," said Donald Albrecht, the co-curator of the exhibition.
On Manhattan's west side, it doesn't take long for 67-year-old school finance director Jack Sproule to give a tour of the studio apartment he owns with his wife. At 290 square feet, there's just enough room for the bed that folds into the wall, a kitchenette and an adequately appointed bathroom, which Sproule jokes is the only place to escape when there's an argument.
But the signature feature is the picture window at the far end of the unit.
"Look at that view," Linda Sproule said, pointing to the sprawling expanse of Central Park, with the reservoir, the great lawn and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the distance.
The let's-get-small initiative taps into that trade off — an ultra-tiny apartment for the opportunity to live in one of the world's great cities.
It grew out of a confluence of sobering statistics. New York City, which already has 8.2 million people, is projected to grow by about 600,000 people by 2030. A third of the city's households consist of just one person, a percentage that climbs to 46 percent on the island of Manhattan. Residents face average market-value rents of $2,000 a month for a studio apartment and $2,700 a month for a one-bedroom.
Newly constructed tiny apartments, depending on location, are expected to go for the price of a current studio but would have the added state-of-the-art amenities.
Sproule said living small has personal benefits.
"It helps us focus on one another," he said. Without a lot of maintenance, "it's amazing how much free time we have to be with one another. It also allows us to explore New York more."
Neuman would not say how much he pays for his tiny studio, other than it is less than market value for his neighborhood.
After five years of living there, claustrophobia has been replaced by a much different fear.
"Maybe every two years I have some version of an anxiety dream where my apartment is enormous," Neuman said. "It completely terrifies me."
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