2019 AIA Accessory Dwelling Unit Merit Award
MIDCENTURY COMPANION UNIT
This modern, sustainable Companion Unit (AKA Accessory Dwelling Unit or Guest House) is designed into the backyard of a primary dwelling unit. The unit contains a Great Room, 1 bed, 1 bath, and a private deck. The unit is owned by a pair of artists, who wanted to create an art space that could be an extension of their existing residence and could also be closed off as a Guest House if needed. The architecture needed to reflect the same creativity as the clients, as well as the sense of privacy yet connectivity and a high sense of sustainability.
The parti included aligning specific building elements including walls, windows, and doors from the existing to the proposed. By doing so, when the existing deck door and the new ADU deck door are open, the 2 spaces become one. The existing deck flows between both interiors, creating the sense of an indoor/outdoor singular room. This connection between the two buildings allowed us to expand the space, while still maintaining small building footprints.
The project's sustainability features include passive solar heating/cooling and solar/rain harvesting. The butterfly roof allows the site-line from the existing residence to remain low and provides an optimal shape for rainwater harvesting. Water funnels down the two pitches to a central cricket, which is diverted to a rain barrel and landscaping. The low-sloped cool roof is also designed for solar panels.
Clerestory windows on the North and South walls allow natural daylighting to filter through. Little to no East and West fenestration, as well as deep overhangs, prevent the space from overheating in the Summer. The result is a compact space that is comfortable, light, and integrated within the existing site.