Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

I toured an apartment built in a factory, and I’m convinced that these high-tech homes are the future of city living

cloud apartmentsA model unit from Cloud Apartments, a startup that plans to construct rental buildings out of stacked rectangular modules that are made in factories.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments.

  • I toured a high-tech studio made out of a rectangular module in Cloud Apartments’ Bay Area factory.
  • The startup plans to stack the modules to make buildings with up to 150 apartments.
  • I’m convinced this method, which makes homes cheaper for both landlords and renters, is the future. 
I first learned about modular-construction startup Cloud Apartments earlier this year, when it raised $3 million.Cloud Apartments head of construction Matthew Rapa and CEO Curtis WongCloud Apartments head of construction Matthew Rapa and founder Curtis Wong in one of their modular apartment prototypes.

Courtesy of Curtis Wong

Source: Insider

The two-year-old firm in the San Francisco Bay Area is pitching a new way to put up apartment buildings: Rectangular units, or modules, are built in a factory, then trucked to a site where they are stacked and combined to create the final structure.Cloud Apartments building renderingCloud Apartments created a rendering of what the modular units look like when stacked together. This design is similar to what will end up getting built after the company’s first official projects are finalized this year.

Cloud Apartments

In January, founder Curtis Wong told me that he could cut the cost of putting up an apartment building — and, by extension, the rents tenants would have to pay — by 30%. Modular construction is also faster than traditional methods.Curtis Wong cloud apartmentsWong, 33, inside a unit.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments

I decided to stop by the factory in Richmond, California — near Berkeley and Oakland in the East Bay — and check out a model studio apartment.cloud apartment prototypeWong beside the unit in the company’s Richmond, California warehouse and factory.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

When the 500-square-foot studio eventually gets built, Wong said, it would rent for market rate — which is just over $2,500 in the Bay Area city of San Jose, one of the locations Cloud is eyeing for its first official project.a rendering of cloud apartment studioA rendering of the studio apartment unit I toured.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments

Source: Rent.com

I was shocked by how luxurious and high-tech it was, including an electronic bed that descends from the ceiling, built-in surround sound, and lighting that can be changed depending on your mood.cloud apartmentsA shot of the living space.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments.

When I walked in the front door, I noticed a tablet embedded in the wall. I watched as Wong touched the screen to change the lighting from a bright daytime setting to a moody bedtime mode.cloud apartment entranceA resident can control the temperature, lighting, sound, and furniture movement on a tablet embedded into the wall.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

Next was the swanky bathroom. An avid shower singer, I immediately noticed high-quality speakers embedded in the ceiling.cloud apartment prototypeThe bathroom in the unit.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

The bathroom also had fancy lighting around the mirror, which I thought would be ideal for applying makeup before a night out.cloud apartment prototypeThe interior of the bathroom.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

Further down the hall was a walk-in closet and washer-dryer. It seemed especially spacious for a small studio.cloud apartment prototypeThe laundry room and closet.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

A living room with an open kitchen turns into a bedroom at the click of a button.cloud apartment prototypeThe living room/bedroom and kitchen.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

But first, the kitchen. It seemed massive for a studio, with tons of space to both cook and enjoy a meal with friends.cloud apartment prototypeThe Cloud Apartment studio kitchen.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

I especially loved the combination of neutrals, shapes, and textures in the kitchen, which exuded a feel of understated luxury.countertop cloud apartmentA shot of the countertop and backsplash.

Kelsey Neubauer

The design team thoughtfully included convenient features for small spaces, including a pull-out cutting board disguised as a drawer in the kitchen island.cloud apartment prototypeThe cutting board pulls out like a drawer from the island.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

The full-sized, stainless-steel appliances were also impressive.cloud apartment prototypeThe kitchen.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

Technologically, though, the living room-slash-bedroom is what amazed me the most.cloud apartment prototypeA shot of the couch — which turns into a bed — and living room table.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

The bed — which at first appears to be a rectangular wooden accent on the ceiling — descends with the press of a button on the smart tablet.the bed in cloud apartment living room.The bed comes down from the ceiling, turning the living room into a bedroom within seconds.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments

The bed, which can stay made as it moves up and down, fits neatly over the couch. Furniture will be included for Cloud Apartments renters.cloud apartments bedroomThis is what the room looks like when the bed is fully down.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments

A folding glass door off the living room/bedroom led to a covered balcony. I would love to sit there with my morning coffee, watching the rain pour down without getting wet.cloud apartments unit exteriorA shot on the balcony looking in.

Kelsey Neubauer/Insider

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed. The quality of the space and the caliber of the construction really made me believe that modular units could be a good way to creating high-quality housing faster and at discounted costs to both landlords and renters.cloud apartmentsA shot of the living space from the balcony.

Courtesy of Cloud Apartments.

After touring, I think if they ever come to the New York area, I just may have to apply to live in one.

Read the original article on Business Insider
WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE