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April 18, 2008

« Surburban Spread | Main | Where Does Inequality Come From? »

With real estate running scarce and increasingly expensive in cities around the world, here's a way to still live in an urban environment - albeit in a very, very small space!  Its all about the backpack apartment which consists of a cube-made element.  The backpack apartment is constructed with a welded steel cage and a light birch veneered plywood interior cladding. The height of the top floor of the cube element is approximately eleven feet and the total weight of the sculpture is about two tons.


What do you think - is this something you would like to see in your city and would you consider living in a backpack apartment?  Note to City Zoning-by-law inspectors: Beware!

Aleem Kanji


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Shawn Petriw

What about air rights? It looks like trespass to me.


It looks like a wart to me.

Michael Wells

On the earthquake-prone West Coast which has lots of old brick buildings without interior structural support, these look pretty dicey. I can't tell from the photo if the middle photos are one of these, or a newer concrete building with a brick facade. If it's just hung from the exterior wall I'd be leery of it. If there were a way to run some structural steel further into the building, and cantilever the backpack supports it could be OK, but I'm not sure how that would work.

I'd probably cross the street rather than walk under one.

Yule Heibel

I can't imagine this will catch on. At some point, hanging a bunch of VW "bugs" off a building's wall will destabilize it, in which case you'd have to deal with the issue of limiting the number of these contraptions a building could load. So then you'd get into a highly visible "privilege" issue, maybe?

Aside from that, what Shawn and sandy said.


Looks like it would be very difficult to make this work when the seismic design is considered. Also what happens if lots of these were to connect to the HVAC systems ?

hayden fisher

Looks like a Lego project gone too far.

Eddie Carr

It's a pretty brilliant idea. I can see how it could get out of hand, though, and probably infringe on laws and restrictions. But it's a sound idea. I check out all my Florida real estate here. http://www.propertymaps.com/cloud/mls/usa/florida

Homes for sale

Wow that looks pretty dangerous!! The top one just looks like its attached to the building with some cable! I like the idea but I think in practice you would go insane in something that small!

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