Small is the new green

Increasing environmental awareness along with economic and demographic trends favor smaller house sizes. Many cities are doing their part by updating zoning codes to allow cottage housing and small backyard cottages (detached ADU's) on residentially zoned lots. Seattle and Portland are two cities which allow backyard cottages up to 800 sq. ft. in size. These small houses provide opportunities for families, while increasing housing stock density and diversity. Continue reading for more information about small house design and Seattle's backyard cottage ordinance or contact us to find out if your lot is eligible for a backyard cottage.

Thursday, March 24

micro cottage housing - traditional village typology re-imagined

Microhousing is a concept that is adapts the spatial and social dynamics of traditional communities and re-imagines them to create modern urban villages. It embraces simplicity and connection to place and community.  As people seek to live more simple purposeful lives microhousing has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity. 

Comfortably accommodating all of the functions and activities in a tiny house requires thoughtful design.  The multiple domestic and social demands of living require the small spaces to be flexible and adaptable. For example, a single room may need to be, at one time, a dining room and, at another, a bedroom. Because the interior spaces are small natural lighting and the visual continuity to the outside is vitally important. Careful placement of windows, doors, and wall openings brings the outside in and makes the interior seem more spacious.  In a sense, the exterior spaces become an important as the interior layout itself.  The careful balance between the two is the hallmark of a vibrant community. Our design team is at the forefront of innovating concepts within this spatial and social framework.

Microhouse is an award winning collaboration of architects, landscape architects, designers, and constructability experts who are passionate about the design of small houses and their communities.  As a young flexible team we are energetic, resourceful, and creative. Our collaborative approach to design allows us to draw on a vast resource of knowledge that we apply to our projects both local and worldwide.  This approach allows us to fully realize our clients’ goals on a wide range of projects.  We take pride in creating innovative designs that are closely tailored to local conditions and construction technologies.  Stay tuned for more information on our global projects.

Friday, March 18

Vancouver B.C. Micro Cottage Housing



image courtesy of studio 216
Located on the outskirts of Vancouver, local zoning code allows for a multi-story high rise development on the site.  However, the local rental market would not support the cost of development. Microhouse and the owner teamed up to for this innovative affordable housing solution.  The 30 units will house at risk youth and social workers. The units are based around a series of overlapping courtyards that will facilitate small group interactions and provide support for the residents.
The owner plans to start the process by building the first shelter, as a backyard cottage, in his own back yard as a prototype. Thank you to Studio 216 for the beautiful rendering.