The story of the Manhattan Micro-Loft is like the nerd-to-knockout transformation typical of a ’90s teen movie. Architects Scott Specht and Louise Harpman buffed the awkward, ugly, uninhabitable excuse for an apartment into a sleek, functional abode that is the envy of many a city-dweller. The apartment accommodates a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and rooftop terrace in a footprint of 425 square feet. Although only four pieces of furniture (a couch, queen-size bed, convertible coffee table, and ceiling lamp) define the spaces’ functions, built-in features compactly substitute more traditional furnishings. Water flows from a spigot on the glass-covered side of the shared wall between the sunken kitchen and living space, and an entertainment center is housed on the painted-brick reverse. The two dark wood and white-paneled staircases double as storage units with arrays of cabinets and drawers that extend back underneath the steps. The partial ceiling created by the bed’s steel-supported platform maximizes daylight from windows in the living area and off the terrace.