Seattle Backyard Cottage DADU

Designed with flexible space-planning in mind, this modern 800 SF structure can be used as either a guest house, rental unit or office space. The existing structure is a one-story garage and carport. The garage will be preserved as a shop space but the carport will be converted to an office with kitchenette. If not being used as an office, the space could easily become a living/dining/kitchen area for a guest house or rental unit. The new second floor will include a conference area, materials library, bathroom and small closet. A queen-sized murphy bed along the south wall will allow the space to transform into a bedroom if needed. The table and chairs will be designed and constructed of durable materials so when the space is used as a bedroom they can be rolled out to the adjacent roof deck. Initially, the space will be used as a new office for Studio Zerbey while still able to have guests stay the weekend, using the upper floor. Later, it could be used solely as a guest house or income-producing rental unit. The project is designed under the recently amended Seattle land use code section on Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (commonly called DADU’s). Since the existing structure is within the rear and side yard setbacks, the new second floor has to step back to at least 5 feet from the rear yard and side yard setback – which was a primary driver for the overall massing and size of the structure. (The lower floor is grandfathered in.)  The roof will have a rainwater catchment system that provides irrigation to a south-facing vegetated trellis made of wire mesh. We’re also evaluating the feasibility of solar panels given the great southern exposure. One concern was maintaining privacy of the main house, so windows are carefully placed to allow plenty of natural light but limit direct views between structures. Materials would include stained vertical 1×2 cedar siding, inexpensive exterior-rated plywood with a durable finish, wood windows, exposed wood rafters, a corrugated metal roof (with corrugated polycarbonate at the eaves) and steel entry awning.