Tiny Housing

Mcallister Village: Walkable, Adorable, Affordable

The Mcallister Village concept is to create a neighborhood of small starter homes a short walk from coffee shops, restaurants and the future downtown Crozet. The site is designed to push the parking to the outside, create courtyard entries to all the houses, open up a shared central green with a shared pavilion, and be enhanced with perimeter walking trails. This idea was inspired by The Boiceville Cottages in Brooktondale, NY not far from Ithaca, NY

The houses will be compact one bedrooms with lofts attached to compact lofted two bedroom or three bedroom houses. The one bedroom houses fit somewhere in-between apartments and single family detached houses in the market; a segment largely ignored for decades due to outdated zoning codes. The houses utilize a versatile lofted design to provide more storage and living area for singles, couples and young families. The construction details are simple and elegant; reducing cost, increasing thermal efficiency and maximizing space.

The proposal asks to either fix the blatant mathematical errors in the R-2 zoning code or rezone the property to PRD (Planned Residential Development) from R-2 to allow for our creative redesign. The total amount of families would be the same as by-right, but the by-right attached accessory units (adus) would be expressed as more desirable attached one bedroom cottages that can be bought or rented separately:

This project is currently shelved unless a forward thinking developer wants to take on securing the property and going through the county rezoning process. Contact us for more information

Categories: Architecture, Communities, Design, New Urbanism, Preservation, Tiny Housing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting a friendly face on Gentle Density

Attached housing is a really smart way to increase density and provide affordable, small housing in walkable neighborhoods, but it is illegal in most places. Duplexes don’t have to be ugly! This is a gallery of lovely examples where attached housing not only fit well into an existing neighborhood, but is also really attractive. Help normalize and re-legalize missing middle housing by adding your pictures to and sharing galleries like these!

Put a Friendly Face on Gentle Density

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Green Crozet Houses: Orchard Dr

Attached Greenhouse

Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.

The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such

Entrance from Orchard Dr

little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.

See the full designs here and contact me if you would like to buy one or design something like this for somewhere else!

 

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Tiny House Parking

So you’ve decided to simplify your life, get rid of all the clutter and more into a tiny house on wheels, but there’s one catch: where do you live? It’s tricky. One option is to buy some land, but if you aren’t planning on being off the grid you’re going to need electrical hookup and perhaps a well, maybe even a septic system. All of this gets expensive and a little outside of the original idea of downsizing, especially when there are plenty of people who would be more than willing to rent a little place on their property with everything you need already there in exchange for a little rent and utility sharing. With the transient nature of our culture, we’ve lost a lot of the real social networks that would have once made it very easy to find a place like this. A brand new site called TinyHouseParking is trying to network people living in Tiny Houses with those who have the land and desire to help this tiny movement get some traction!

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Turn a Bus into a House

I like this idea for how to re-purpose all of those ancient school busses. All you need to do is put up some insulation and better finishes and BAM! House.

busreno

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Tiny House Blog

In the quest to live simply, there are many online resources available. The Tiny House Blog is a great one, focusing on living in small spaces. They have compiled a fantastic directory of tiny house designers, builders, blogs, and more. If you’re really into exploring the vastly different styles and construction types of small housing, then this is a great place to start!

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Four Lights Tiny House Company

Jay Shafer is at it again; one of the visionaries behind the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is out with a brand new spin-off: Four Lights Tiny House Company. Running in the same vein as Tumbleweed, but expanding on the idea, literally. A few of the new designs utilize the full width allowed on the road allowing for a lot more space. This is less portable (you need a professional driver) but far more livable for two people.

Marmara-Front_1_grande

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The Napoleon Complex

A community of tiny houses! This is a really neat idea if they can keep architectural unity and keep it well maintaned through the years. It will be really interested to see how they make this project happen as it is out of the realm of what city planners and zoning officials have ever seen.

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napleoncomplex

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Late Lunch and Learn on the Web: Big Ideas in Small Spaces

Inhabitat, Ford, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation are hosing a live webcast with leading automotive designers and architects to talk about how to make functional and comfortable rooms out of tiny spaces. It will be interesting to see how the seemingly very different worlds of cars and buildings can provide much insight to each other. The Webcast Starts Thursday, June 6th at 12:30PM CDT (1:30 PM EST)

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Hobbitat Tiny Homes

With the same passions and roots, but a bit more funky than Tumbleweed’s houses; Hobbitat has plenty of creativity to go around. For some tiny inspiration, head over to their website

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Think Big, Live Small

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