Attic Transformer

Attic Transformer

Michael K. Chen Architecture
New York, NY, United States | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses

Attic Transformer

Michael K. Chen Architecture as Architects

"We are passionate about producing design that makes urban living more attainable, more gracious, and more sustainable. As cities become denser, an inventive approach to design for smaller spaces is becoming ever more important to the pursuit of a well-lived urban life. In the case of the Attic Transformer, we maximize space and function in a minuscule apartment, designing for elements and uses that might otherwise be impossible, but in a lively and playful way,” says MKCA founder Michael Chen


Having acquired a 225 sf space in the West Village with a 5ft tall storage attic space, MKCA’s client was seeking to create a gracious and multi-functional home.


Situated in an Landmarked 1840s wood and brick townhouse with exposures on three sides, the space was gutted to studs and rebuilt from the inside out, including new thermal and waterproofing systems at the three exterior facades and roof. Extensive upgrades were made to the sagging wood structure of the building to level floors and ceilings and to reinforce decades of water damage in the historic structure.


The project takes advantage of the compact attic space which while not standing height nevertheless offers a useful volume for numerous apartment functions. The space was aggressively subdivided and loaded with custom fabricated transforming elements including hanging clothing storage, pantry storage, and a pull-out dining table that is paired with a pull-out workstation that converts the table into a home office with desktop computer and storage below. The transforming elements make comfortable living, cooking, dining, working, and entertaining all possible, even in a tiny space. Custom millwork, and vintage and contemporary furnishings in tactile and well crafted hardwoods, mohair, and wool make for a luxurious and youthful interior design.


This intricate apartment marks MKCA’s smallest yet. Since launching in 2011, MKCA has completed numerous award-winning micro projects such as the Party Wall, Unfolding Apartment and Five to One Apartment.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Edgewood House
next project

Edgewood House

Private Houses
Palo Alto, CA, USA - Build completed in 2020
View Project