This project is an investigation of compact, sustainable urban development and a contemporary approach to living and working. A "micro highrise", the three-story cottage is a 712-square-foot living space over a 430-square-foot workshop. It pairs with an existing building to complete an active mixed-use compound.
Completed in 2012, the freestanding addition presented an opportunity for the architect/owner to explore advanced sustainable design, construction, materials, and technologies. The cottage is Net Zero, LEED Platinum, and Passive House certified, and generates positive power.
Situated at the rear of the site, the cottage is reached through an Edwardian carriageway adorned with a 60-foot mural and bicycle lifts. The passage opens onto a bamboo-lined courtyard that serves as the cottage?s entryway.
The simple form of the building streamlined construction and maximized the flexibility of the interior spaces. At ground level, a working woodshop is used to create custom pieces for the firm?s projects.
The exterior rainscreen system, designed and prototyped by the architect, includes salvaged and new metal shingles that slide into a grid of custom clips and are easy to move or replace. Japanese-style charred wood siding, from maple salvaged from one of the firm?s adaptive-reuse projects, serves as additional cladding.
Inside, an open and efficient two-level plan including a compact kitchen and work area makes the most of the modest space, while carefully sited windows frame city views without compromising privacy.
The vegetated roof has planters, composting, solar panels, a passive solar hot water collector, and a passive solar roof monitor.
The cottage continues the evolution of an urban site that predates the 1906 earthquake and contributes to giving the historic space a new public purpose. Its flexible mixed-use community includes the woodshop, a two-bedroom home, a studio apartment, and a commercial space hosting community-focused cultural events of civic interest.