Across the globe, many families struggle with how you best support ageing family members when you live in a city with minimal housing options. Best Practice Architecture has offered a brilliant solution to issues around multi-generational living and urban density with their latest Seattle project.
The firm was hired to create Granny Flat converted from a backyard garage. The residential addition was built to give the aging family member a safe and well-designed home, bring childcare to the growing family, and to maintain privacy for everyone involved.
Design considerations included looking at the project on both a short-term and long-term timeline. First, they needed to address the immediate needs of the client. They also considered future uses of the space as a possible rental unit, studio, office or other income generating project for the family and they needed to do all of that using just 571 square feet.To accommodate the decreased mobility associated with aging, the living area needed to be one level. Rather than make several small rooms, the team opted to create open, central spaces that can be easily adapted to changing mobility issues. Carefully placed windows and skylights provide lots of daylight. Rafters were left exposed in the ceiling.The existing garage door was removed, and the old structure became the entry, kitchen and sitting room. A short walk through the entryway reveals the bedroom, closet with laundry and bathroom. A lofted space above the bathroom (accessed by a ladder) will be used as storage for the time being, but can easily be transformed into an office or sleeping loft in the future. All of these details come together to create a soaring, open feeling that makes the relatively small footprint of Granny Flat feels much larger.