What are the smallest, coolest apartments in the country?

One need look no further than the 2nd annual Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest 2006, sponsored by Apartment Therapy.

Qualifying entrants must be under 650 s.f. (quality trumps quantity in the city) and among the 48 contiguous states (what the judges have against Hawaii, Alaska and Washington DC I don’t know), and are usually submitted in the early spring. This year’s tied-for-first winners are:

David & Im’s OneSpace – 426 s.f. loft in San Diego (pictured above) – “truly innovative, creative, and beautiful use of a small space.” Check out the loft’s a-day-and-night-in-the-life-of video.
Jenny & Clove’s LAish Pad – 442 s.f. open studio in Astor Place, NY (below) – a “high-end look on a low-end budget”.

Both the readers and judges evaluate the apartments on the following criteria, which are excellent benchmarks of quality whether designing one or a hundred not-so-big (and thus, more attainable) apartments:

Efficiency: Innovative use of small space to maximize livability
Aesthetics: Beauty and stylistic achievement in decor
Special Challenges: Creative problem solving in dealing with adverse conditions”

We highlighted the first annual contest here.

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