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Beating Urban Housing and Spatial Constraints with a Courtyard Style Residence!

It is often the simplest solutions that are the smartest and make our lives easier. With growing pressure on urban land, it utilization is under intense scrutiny in big cities across the planet. New construction norms and premium rates are forcing homeowners to turn to smart design for the right spatial solutions. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood of Seattle, the Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard is a revamped 1940’s home that uses the idea of ‘Courtyard Urbanism’ to maximize space without sacrificing on aesthetics, energy-efficiency or interaction with nature. Designed by Wittman Estes, the revitalized residence relies on a series of courtyards and an open studio for its new, more open avatar.

Sitting area and studio of the revamped Seattle home

Sliding glass doors, concrete floors and wooden walls and pavilion wooden roof shape the beautiful new dining area, lounging space, kids’ play zone and interactive and entertaining areas. Each room flows into the next even while maintaining its own individual identity while a south facing courtyard unifies it all ever so diligently. The transformation feels organic and the pavilion roof extends even outside to form the carport and offers shelter for the ingenious walkways.

Natural light finds its way into the social zone of the pavilion style space
View of the home from the front courtyard
Look inside the Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard
Extended roof for the carport
Central courtyard and covered walkways inside the Seattle home
Extended pavilion roof offers shade for the walkways

From the small front yard to the central courtyard and the guest bedrooms in the rear, every room of the house echoes the uncomplicated and functional design philosophy of the makeover. Life seems like an absolute breeze at this rejuvenated Seattle home! [Photography: Nic Lehoux]

Small washbasin in the corner saves ample space
Silk tree and natural canopy gives the home plenty of shade

The Seattle housing shortage has increased pressure on single family neighborhoods to provide more usable space on limited single family lots. Normative new housing demolishes existing small buildings and replaces them with ‘Seattle Modern Boxes’ that maximize building size and density within zoning setbacks. Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard offers a solution to this conundrum with its unique design that keeps things uncomplicated…

Ingenious design of the revamped home maximizes space
Finding solitude in a beautiful courtyard
Front facade and carport of the Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard

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