Just off a busy thoroughfare, bounded by a 4-story apartment building and fronting a gas station and supermarket parking lot, this project transformed its location into an inspiring home for a growing family, workplace for two busy professionals, welcoming destination for clients and upscale addition to the neighborhood. At the intersection of commercial, multi-family and single-family zones, it is designed to adapt effortlessly to the inevitable rezoning that comes with increasing urban density and contribute a deeper sustainability than is currently certifiable.
Challenging residential conventions, the 2-unit building maximizes lot coverage, setbacks and allowable height, allowing live-work spaces to expand and contract to accommodate changing needs. The ADU annex, a potential income generator, faces the commercial zone, shielding a private courtyard for outdoor living, urban farming and rainforest garden. The building arrangement mitigates the scales between the large apartment building and quaint, post-war homes. With minor modifications, two dwellings can grow to three or become 1-3 commercial units.
The design is a study in low-cost “luxury of space” rather than coveted high levels of finish. Ribbon windows capitalize on courtyard, skyline and harbor views, maintain privacy and flood interior spaces with natural light. With an envelope of optimized prefabricated SIPs, structure is honestly expressed throughout: columns of wood-and-steel, exposed joists and beams of engineered lumber. Wallboard defines functional areas and serves as a backdrop for art. Floors are durable, heated concrete and bamboo.
Filled with innovative design features, the building has an abundance of untapped potential. Planned infrastructure exists for quality of living enhancements and increased energy performance.