Backyard Cottage Ideas?

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Matt2
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Backyard Cottage Ideas?

Post by Matt2 »

Seattle is pushing backyard cottages as a way to increase density in single-family zones. They raised the allowed sf of such cottages from 800 to 1000. What FLW designs might work as a cottage? Maybe Seth Petersen or Pratt?

SDR
Posts: 19704
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Few Wright residential designs were made with thought to limiting footprint (including roof extensions), in ways that would make them ideal candidates for construction on narrow city lots---it seems to me.

While compact and/or small-scaled Wright interiors are not hard to find, only modified versions of his cottage-sized houses seem likely to be adopted for the purpose of Accessory Dwelling Units (as they are known here).

https://sfplanning.org/accessory-dwelling-units

Perhaps the standard Price Tower apartment, or a single Suntop unit, could be constructed as is---albeit with a new exterior "fabric" ?

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10340
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Is there some sort of financial inducement to convince home owners to use their back yards as building sites? Would these be rental units? Do home owners have any interest in cramming more people into their neighborhoods?

Seems like slipshod community redevelopment.

Matt2
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

Rod, it is a topic of great controversy here in Seattle. The city has allowed cottages either attached or detached (ADU or DADU) for years, but set an 800 sf max size and required owner to live in either the main unit or cottage. That has recently changed with up to 1000 sf allowed, both ADU and DADU in addition to the main house, and all units can be rentals. I sense there are loopholes a developer will drive a truck through, tearing down old bungalows and building what are essentially duplexes or triplexes. It will be a disaster.

But I can't help wonder what Wright would do.

SDR
Posts: 19704
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Wright might well advise tearing out the whole neighborhood---on aesthetic if no other grounds---and replacing it with work of his own design !

I don't know what is going on in Seattle, but San Francisco has long acknowledged a housing shortage here---without doing much about it, until quite recently. The late mayor Ed Lee was strongly behind the construction of
new residences, thus the explosion of medium- and high-rise buildings---so many, in fact, that some of us can't believe they will all be filled.

S

Matt2
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

SF has had a yearly limit on office construction, but I don't think any limit on housing construction. Wright would prefer not to have any nearby competition for his work, but it it an interesting design challenge.

jay
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

I admit I'm very fond of cities adding density to their neighborhoods in this manner....

SDR's idea of a single Suntop Home type structure sounds practical. We'd assume most ADU's, especially in hilly Seattle, would have two stories? Privacy would be an issue, with close proximity, yet Seattle's dark days would also be an issue for adequate daylighting. Perhaps a structure that uses a light-well from the top?

I've always liked this unbuilt design of Wright's.... From "A Testament".... Caption reads "1912 Project, Small Town House"

Image

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

All the Geeks who work in Silicon Valley, but cannot afford to live there, will settle for apartments in the $3000 to $6000 range in the city.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10340
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

jay, assuming a unit system of 2'x2', which the ASBH grid was for this scheme (credited to RMS), try to figure out what the floor plan of that "Small Town House" would be. Be sure to allocate enough room for the stairwell.

Matt2
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

I thought that design was part of the System Built project? Interesting you bring it up as the other dominant form of housing taking over Seattle is the townhouse...3 stories with a compact footprint. I had thought about that design and wondered how it might look, but in a northwest material like wood (stucco is prone to water infiltration). If I recall, the stairs were inventively arranged. Is this a Schindler design? Not Wright?

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

It was done for ASBH while FLW was working on the Imperial and Barnsdall projects, and was rarely at home. The attribution is not solid; the image you post is included in FLW's final book, "A Testament," which implies that he did the work. But some researchers, like Esther McCoy, insist Schindler did it.

jay
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

Ah, I know nothing else about the "Small Town House" design besides the photo of it in that book. (Would love to learn more, if anyone knows where to find the info).... Certainly has a Schindler vibe to it.

All 4 of the Wright homes in the PNW use concrete block. Was that Wright's preferred material for the region (or just incidental)?

Matt2
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

The Griggs house in Tacoma uses wood. In fact, Wright's first iteration used logs because, you know, we all live in log cabins up here.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10340
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Chauncey Griggs' ancestors were lumbermen for generations, first in Minnesota, then Washington. I suppose Griggs' choice of cedar had more to do with his heritage than anything else.

FLWBC visited the Griggs House in '95. It is wonderful.

jay
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

Right, the angled wood on the exterior ends of the house. Which is an unusual accent for Wright, isn't it? I know there was conflict between Wright and the owner, and he ended up having another architect alter the plans... Was the log exterior a Wright concept?

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