Solving Cities

An apartment that converts to a parking lot and back again

An apartment that converts to a parking lot and back again

Posting in Design

A fascinating new apartment concept would maximize urban efficiency. But would anyone live there?

If you live in a dense urban environment you're used to making sacrifices (less housing space, higher costs, less amenities) to live in a good, convenient location. But a new apartment concept would add a whole new sacrifice to urban living: a combined parking garage and apartment that makes apartment spaces compact during the day to allow for more parking and expands them at night for more living space.

The idea is called Parking + Housing and it was submitted by designer Aaron Cheng to this year's James Dyson Awards. The concept is explained in the video below:

As Cheng explained further to Fast Company:

“The project is designed for single young people, like those who just graduated from school,” Cheng says. “Normally they have regular work schedules and social lives, and the home to them is merely a place for sleeping; what they care is good location to the downtown area and relatively cheap rent.”

But while the reason behind the concept makes sense -- maximizing space efficiency to reduce the amount of empty space during certain times of the day -- there are plenty of unanswered questions. How would residents coordinate with commuters? What if a resident worked from home or even takes a day off from work? Can they stay in their home? Would they have to be out of their place every day at an early hour? What if a resident has a car?

Still, it's a fascinating idea in urban efficiency. I'm just not sure it would be worth all the inconveniences.

Hey, recent grads, would you live there?

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure