Modern Cottages

Here are photos of three of my Seattle projects taken this summer (2007).

Pine Street Cottages

A father and son build this cluster of 10 cottages between 1916 and 1919 as rentals. In 1989 developers purchased them (filled with decades of “storage”), and chose to restore and remodel them. They are all the same, with only the small differences that come from being hand-built. I did all the architectural design work, site re-planning, landscape design and interiors. They were sold as condominiums for $90,000 each, with off-street parking, in a neighborhood close to downtown Seattle. The most recent sale price was $314,000! Given that they are only 410 square feet, I am speechless. But then, maybe what the Moody Cottages teach–that magic is important–is why they are so popular. They are an oasis of green and intimate scale close to the heart of the city.

Malden Court Condominiums

This project is easy to miss, when driving on this little backstreet in the Capitol Hill neighborhood above downtown Seattle. It looks like two classic ‘Seattle box,’ turn of the century houses. In fact, it was mentioned as such by the architecture critic for the Seattle Times! It was built 10 years ago. Each of these buildings is actually 5 two story, two bedroom homes, which share a large, central deck and covered parking beneath. The goal was to use the lessons-learned on Pine Street–day-lighting, air, volume, careful attention to effective use of space–and see if it could be successful in a multistory format that blended into a mixed urban block with a number of surviving single-family houses. I did the conceptual design and consulted on all aspects of the design, interiors and landscaping and provided construction management.

Ravenna Court Condominiums

This site was zoned to take 2 or 3 large single family homes. Through a design demonstration program instituted by the City of Seattle, Ravenna Cottages was built to test whether small format housing could address neighborhood concerns about change while increasing density. I was responsible for the conceptual design and oversaw all aspects of the design throughout design and development. The cluster is arranged around a central series of gardens and patios, protected from freeway noise by the taller carriage house structure. There are 6 two-bedroom, 1-½ bath cottages and 3 one-bedroom/loft carriage house units, with a total of 9 enclosed garages beneath.

In walking through the Moody Cottages, I have been delighted to discover many underlying elements that are important in my own work. It is curious to feel this connection to the work of my aunties, as I knew very little about their legacy cottages until I began this journey. I must have absorbed more about their values as a child than I ever realized. For this surprising revelation, I am grateful to all of you who have opened your homes to me. Thank you.

— MGH