Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seattle's Infill Cottages

So what is a cottage home? It's a small detached unit that can range in size from 800 sq.ft. to 1500 sq.ft. with either a traditional or contemporary design, set out in a variety of configurations. While I was recently in Seattle I visited two developments that I consider noteworthy. In nearby Kirkland, I discovered Danielson Grove, an award winning project designed by Ross Chapin and developed by the Cottage Company. The neighbourly character is achieved in part by separating the garages from the houses and siting them on the periphery of the development. As evidenced by these photos, each small home, ranging in size from approximately 800 sq.ft. to 1500 sq.ft. is exquisitely landscaped.

I would like to find a site in Langley or Port Coquitlam where I could develop something similar.

Back in Seattle, at the corner of 16th and Jefferson, I found the interesting development illustrated below. It comprises four small detached houses on a 60 by 100 single family lot. While the landscaping is not as impressive, the sense of community is. Here I found Sarah Bernstein and her neighbour together in the backyard where they regularly get together. The homes are individually owned but probably have an easement to allow for the shared driveway and communal parking for three cars. The fourth unit has a garage directly off the street. While the separation spaces between the houses are very tight, the collection of small cottages, each under 1,000 sq.ft. is very successful. I would love to have the opportunity to build a similar project in Vancouver on a demonstration basis. I just need to find the right corner lot!


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