The 722 Ash Street residence consists of a 1500 sf primary house with a contiguous 500 sf accessory dwelling. The project is set in the rich culture of North Lawrence, its rear property line abuts the Lawrence levee trail which runs for nine miles along the north bank of the Kansas River.
North Lawrence is known for its quality soil, large trees, curbless streets and random size parcels before it breaks into larger farms further from the urban center. It is built on the typical orthogonal grid of American development, but it represents the older growth of the city prior to urban planners and zoning regulations. The rumble of freight trains and farm trucks in the shadows of the towering grain elevators are only blocks away. It is home to many who enjoy being only a bridge crossing away from Lawrence’s vibrant downtown but are far enough away to maintain their independence from many of the restrictions on living near the historic district. They can work in their large gardens and toiling in their garages and shops in a manner more rural than urban.
The house on 722 Ash St. is imbued with the character of North Lawrence and the Levee Trail area. The design was inspired by the Midwestern farmstead vernacular of the region. These timeless vernacular qualities house all the accommodations necessary for modern, sustainable living. A unique feature of this house is the Accessory Dwelling Unit permitted in the zoning district. It is a small separate residence on the same lot that can be used for income property or for extended family members. It also supports the city of Lawrence’s goals of increased density close to downtown rather than continued sprawl into the countryside.
The buildings use technology and common-sense design to reduce the building’s footprint and assure the owners low energy use and costs. A 4.9 Kw solar collection system is located on the only south facing gable and the super insulated envelopes (r-62 roof and r-35 walls) of all three forms easily exceeds the standards. Studio 804 continues their long standing pattern of maintaining the highest level of sustainable design while remaining contextually sensitive to the surrounding community. This house, like every Studio 804 project since 2008, is USGBC LEED Platinum Certified.