The Miner and a Major / The Objectionists

© James O'Meara

Architects: The Objectionists / Jim Dreitlein, Serban Ionescu, Justin Smith
Location: , NY,
Collaborators: Narek Gevorgian, Brian Nemeth, David Valdivia, Thorsten Foerster, Eric Juron, Garen Barsegian, Billy Bob Archer, Caitlin Duffy, Rick Weber, Mentor Noci
Client: Jim Dreitlein, Serban Ionescu, Justin Smith, Narek Gevorgian
Total Area: 667sqft
Budget: $4,000
Project year: 2009
Photographs: James O’Meara

The Miner and a Major is a free-standing, 5 unit dwelling for 5 architects/designers/artists, in a Brooklyn loft. All rooms/units act like a puzzle through visual portals and physical interlockings with the neighboring room(s). The dwelling was designed and built by Jim Dreitlein, Serban Ionescu and Justin Smith (The Objectionists) with the help of many friends and colleagues.

floor plan

Resting in a neighborhood with rich naval and ship building history was a major influence in beginning and continually through-out the design process. Many materials were commercially purchased but a guiding design principle was the materials we found or salvaged that influenced an organic and playful growth of the design to evolve towards. Lights were donated by Amerlux and we frequented BIG NYC (Built It Green) for recycled materials. A multitude of sketches was also a key principle to how we designed and built more spontaneously and collaboratively than having a set of already organized drawings. This allowed for more play, mistakes and surprises to influence and guide the design process towards something un-sketched.

© James O'Meara
© James O'Meara

Each room/ unit consists of the most essential and bare minimum: a desk, a bed and storage space. Through small portals and doors the rooms start intersecting themselves spatially, expanding the internal space into the larger surrounding space/host where the dwelling rests in, creating a fine but yet controllable line between what is private and public in a room. Each room/ unit is individually and significantly different from the other, but intertwine to act and perform as one larger unified and autonomous unit/dwelling/community.

Cite: P, Amber. "The Miner and a Major / The Objectionists" 27 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • Cindy FrewenWuellner

    Tiny tiny #architecture. RT @archdaily: The Miner and a Major / The Objectionists

  • habito kun

    totally random ,bad made , and a complete waste of space.

    • Christian Kuczynski

      I dont agree… Like the overall look of it, would love to see how all this intertwining “works”.

  • Doug

    My big brother and I built a tree house that was so much better than this. We were 10 and 11… the coolest thing about it was, we could see into Mrs Andersen’s bathroom… that was even cooler.

    • claudem

      that is architecutre…with a purpose!
      was she nice at least?

      • Doug

        Just goes to show you… great creative is part hard work and part magic.

  • threads

    interesting floor plan. they have done their homework but the way the form meets the floor is a bit underdeveloped.

  • LosPolos

    No view (I mean real views on the outside)? Hardly no natural indirect light? What about the sound insulation between each units? Creating little boxes in a wide open space could be a good idea but they don’t even participate to the composition of the loft’s space. It seems that they created their own promiscuity by living in a closet placed in the corner of a room.

  • Pingback: テトリスなカプセルオフィス(The Objectionists) : monogocoro ものごころ

  • Hodas

    Its unfortunate that some of the other critiques are so cutting. I think they did a great job and to house 5 people in 667 square feet is an accomplishment. Not to mention at the price point and reusing many materials without using new. Congratulations and spread the mindset…. If the poplulation is going to expand to what expectations predict by 2050 we’ll all be living in similar spaces…. ;~)

  • RedHookMama

    Smart, economical and conscious – this project is a great example of forward thinking for young city dwellers. It takes dedication, commitment and raw passion to put aside conventional living ideas and live with 4 others in a 667 sf shared living space. Making it feel double the size is genius. Every angle, nook, window and hatch has it’s purpose.
    I have seen this project first hand and can tell you there is a surprisingly large amount of natural light that filters in through the rooms. The craftsmanship is practically seamless. The individual rooms feel cozy and personal with hatches that open and close to let in light and fresh air from the huge windows on the East wall.
    Living in such close quarters is not for everyone, but I can tell you these guys are making the most of their 667 sf piece of Williamsburg.

    Great job guys!

  • ray dreitlein

    I have seen this wonderful use of space and the very dynamic encouragement for interaction and creative cross polination that it encourages. There is space for isolation and meditation for creative incubation and space for fruitful interaction.What a wonderful experience of space and concept mixed together! The results are a blend of creative eruption and deep connection with underlying “depth processes”. I think Jung would really get it! Many will view this experiment and miss it, a few will get it. This will always be the case. Keep up the good work my childern, brave the unknown for those of us who can’t. Dad