New York apartments have furniture that falls from the ceiling to order

This just might be the answer to cramped living conditions, giving people the space to entertain and train by tidying their things – and even their beds – well above their heads.

The futuristic design layout allows storage units, bed frames, workspaces and side ‘wardrobes’ to rise and fall from the ceiling on command, and has already been installed in several New York City apartments.

By tidying up furniture during the day, occupants can free up valuable space for activities such as yoga, games, and entertaining friends.

Bumblebee Spaces, the San Francisco design company that created the system, believes it could be the answer to small apartments in crowded cities where free space is at a premium.

However, it doesn’t come cheap – installing a bed and two storage units costs $ 18,750 (£ 13,630), while a bed and six storage units cost $ 29,000 (21,000 £).

A double bed and storage units are pictured descending from the ceiling in this promotional photo of Residence 405, in The Smile, an apartment complex in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood.

Side

Side “wardrobes” – storage units that descend from the ceiling – have compartments of different sizes, intended to hold clothes and accessories.

“You don’t pay for two or three rooms that you don’t use all the time, but you get the room when you want it,” said Sankarshan Murthy, CEO and founder of Bumblebee.

“Bumblebee’s vision has always been to create a space that is beautifully efficient, so that it becomes affordable.”

Bumblebee can arrange living spaces with a range of fold-down beds, storage units and workstations. He has already installed the technology in five apartments at The Smile, an apartment complex in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood.

A 470 square foot studio called Residence 405, which is shown in promotional images and a video, is one of them.

Residence 405 costs $ 2,662 (£ 1,933) per month to rent, despite being in one of New York’s cheapest areas for real estate.

The Smile (photo) is so called because of its slightly curved shape.  It was designed by BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group and was completed in 2020

The Smile (photo) is so called because of its slightly curved shape. It was designed by BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group and was completed in 2020

“When you walk into the studio’s main living room, you may ask yourself, ‘Where’s the bed? ”, Says The Smile on its website.

“Well, all you have to do is search! The bed retracts from the ceiling by pressing an app or a voice command.

“The Smile has used the latest technology for the home with the Bumblebee bed and storage system to maximize your space. ”

By tidying up bedroom furniture during the day, occupants can free up space during the day for activities such as yoga and entertaining friends.  Pictured is an occupant in the promo video in a space occupied by the bed at night - or whenever the occupant chooses to deploy it

By tidying up bedroom furniture during the day, occupants can free up space during the day for activities such as yoga and entertaining friends. Pictured is an occupant in the promo video in a space occupied by the bed at night – or whenever the occupant chooses to deploy it

The exact moment the bedroom furniture comes down is dictated by the occupant via voice command or via an accompanying app.

In addition, the occupant can pre-program the settings of the application so that the furniture goes down automatically at a certain time.

The sensors will automatically stop the descent of any furniture if it detects movement from someone walking under it, which would otherwise lead to a serious accident.

It also knows when someone is in bed – and therefore when not to climb to the ceiling – meaning occupants “can rest easily” and are not swallowed up into the ceiling like in a James Bond movie.

In the photo, the bed begins its descent into the living space.  Sensors automatically stop the descent of any furniture if it detects movement from someone walking under it - which could otherwise lead to a serious accident

In the photo, the bed begins its descent into the living space. Sensors automatically stop the descent of any furniture if it detects movement from someone walking under it – which could otherwise lead to a serious accident

In the promo video, an occupant of Residence 405 is heard saying, “Hey Siri, lower the bed,” and the bed slowly descends from the ceiling. It is seen occupying a space between a coffee table and a set of drawers along the wall under a TV.

Unlike storage units, the bed is designed to sit firmly on the floor, meaning occupants are not lightly suspended in the air while they sleep.

Another interesting feature is a camera in the massive rectangular modular structure on the ceiling, which stores the units on the ceiling when not in use.

The camera takes photos of the storage units, which are displayed on the app, so occupants know which unit to activate to get a particular item – like an umbrella for a rainy day.

The camera takes photos of the storage units, which are displayed on the app, so occupants know which unit to activate to get a particular item - like an umbrella for a rainy day

The camera takes photos of the storage units, which are displayed on the app, so occupants know which unit to activate to get a particular item – like an umbrella for a rainy day

The 470 square foot studio, called Residence 405, is located in The Smile, an apartment complex in New York's East Harlem neighborhood.

The 470 square foot studio, called Residence 405, is located in The Smile, an apartment complex in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood.

MailOnline reached out to The Smile to ask if anyone is currently renting any of the apartments equipped with the Bumblebee system, including Residence 405, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light.

This particular studio also has a ‘spacious kitchen’ with modern conveniences including stylish Italian cupboards, a dishwasher and a stainless steel refrigerator.

“Upon entering the 405, you’ll first be struck by the sense of scale this studio has,” The Smile says on its website.

“While many New York City studios are cramped and stuffy, this spectacular space is light and airy, thanks to nine-foot-high ceilings and massive windows that allow natural light to flood the home.”

How the Covid-19 pandemic marked the third key change in home design and will result in the end of open space living

Piers Taylor is one of Britain’s leading architects and an expert in understanding what the house of the future could look like.

For Piers, there are three key historical events that have shaped our homes and play a pivotal role in understanding how they will evolve over the next 20 years – and he says we are already seeing the end of the open space trend.

“The first of these was the invention of the fireplace, at the time of the Norman invasion in 1066. This revolutionized the design of houses, which meant that the ceilings were lowered, while the upper spaces were not were more filled with smoke.

“In Georgian times, starting in the early 1700s, every house consisted of cellular rooms, each with a fireplace.

“The second change was a concept announced by Modernism about 100 years ago: the idea of ​​an open living space. ”

The interplay of these two developments remains key to this day, Piers explains.

“In many ways, modern life over the past 100 years has been about the tension between the idea of ​​’home’ as an environment where separation is ensured by the division of space across rooms, as opposed to an open space without borders without acoustic privacy.

“All the while, most of us have compartmentalized our lives into separate realms where we live and play at home and work elsewhere.” Then came the most recent and important change in our idea of ​​the house: Covid-19.

“Overnight, and faster than any other change in history, we radically changed what we do in our domestic spaces. Suddenly our homes were where we lived and worked, with no separation or privacy. And in most cases our homes weren’t ready for it.

“Our lives and ways of working have changed forever, and for the better,” he says.

“Most of us have had a taste of the autonomy and freedom that comes with choosing how and where we work, and most employers have realized that there is no waste of time. productivity if we work all or part of the time from home. ‘

The challenge, however, is to reconcile these new patterns with our domestic spaces. Creating the house of the future means adapting what we have and adding space where we can. While things are not returning to normal, we can make the most of these changes and find positive results from the events of the past year.

Covid-19, Piers says, has given the opportunity to rethink the use of coins.


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