There are many advantages to building smaller and more comfortable homes. But achieving successful smaller spaces requires careful experienced design. We are recognized nationally for our authoritative research and design of small beautiful spaces. If you want to get the most out of your project, call on our expertise.
With a sod covered roof this remarkable 200 square foot (smaller than a one car garage) structure has an office, a conference area, a guest studio with a queen bed, a half bath and is a showcase of green building practices. Many design techniques were used to fit all the functional needs into the space without having it feel small. “This studio is a marvel of how small small can be- and still be nice”.
In addition to the small area big impact design, this project includes a host of alternative building materials that conserve resources. Large south facing windows let in so much natural light that electric lighting is rarely needed during daylight hours even on gray days. The passive solar gain, combined with the sod insulation on the roof and recycled denim insulation in the walls, makes for miserly energy consumption. A composting toilet, rainwater collection system, salvaged wood flooring, FSC certified locally sourced Douglas Fir paneling and recycled bricks complete the array of secondhand and sustainable materials.
This project has been widely published and has received several awards for its design and utilization of techniques to make small spaces feel larger and more spacious. The judges pronounced this floating cottage “compact and beautifully crafted, built like a boat on the inside and like a fisherman’s cottage outside.” Clever design and well-chosen materials make this small home feel much larger than its actual square footage. It’s open, yet subdivided: A sunlit sleeping loft provides a getaway, and its ship’s ladder subtly screens the living and dining areas while allowing the eye to look through it.
Its foundation is a floating concrete platform that was an innovative and more permanent alternative to typical traditional log float structures. Wood for the floors was salvaged from sunken longs in the Columbia River. The corrugated metal ceiling echoes the water ripples and dances with movement as it catches the reflected natural light from outside.