A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling – and Urban Oasis

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

Project: Backyard Cottage
Architecture: Fivedot
Contractor: Hanson Construction
Structural Engineering: Equlibria engineering
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Area: 800 square foot
Photographer: Mark Woods

Located in Seattle’s Central Area neighborhood, this Backyard Cottage is an L shaped plan that creates a courtyard accessible from both the living area and the bedroom. Large sliding glass doors allow the living area to ‘steal’ the outside and appear much larger than it actually is. The home is designed to be on one level, both for aging in place needs as well as to allow for higher ceilings which create a more spacious feel.

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

floor plan

As the entry is from the alley, Fivedot created an entry courtyard to extend and soften the entry sequence. The garage serves as an object implying the edge of the courtyard and creating an outdoor room as well as providing space for outdoor gear and the other parts of life that don’t fit into 800-square-feet.

living room, FivedotThe clients are an active couple who were looking to design a space that served as a refuge and as a starting point for their many adventures. The main house is built of natural materials that will require little maintenance and reflect the simple nature of the space. The home is wrapped in Yakisugi (burnt Japanese cyprus), the floor is polished concrete, and the casework is Oregon white oak. The skylight above the shower bathes the milestone walls in light creating a spa like atmosphere which is a nice thing to come home to after a week-long climbing adventure.

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

The garage, which serves as an object to anchor the courtyard, also provides ample storage and workshop space for their gear. It also serves as a mini climbing wall in a pinch. Instead of roof or attic access ladders, climbing holds were installed to provide access to the rooftop and utility areas.

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

home office, Fivedot

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

An 800-square-foot home in Seattle's Central Area designed to be part primary dwelling, part urban oasis

An 800-square-foot home in Seattle's Central Area designed to be part primary dwelling, part urban oasis

shower, An 800-square-foot home in Seattle's Central Area designed to be part primary dwelling, part urban oasis

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

A Backyard Cottage as Primary Dwelling - and Urban Oasis

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