US architecture firm Hybrid has designed and built a compact house along a back alley in Seattle, which is partially lifted off the ground to make way for parking. Called The Lookout, it occupies the back of a narrow, sloped lot and faces an alley.
When the company purchased the 4,200-square-foot (390-square-metre) property, it decided to tear down an existing, single-family home and replace it with multiple residences, including The Lookout. Rather than completely fill the site with townhomes, the team opted to build an alleyway dwelling in the rear of the property. The front portion of the site features three connected townhouses all with matching dark cladding. Tucked between these townhomes is a small lawn with a mature cherry tree.
The timber-framed building is lifted above the ground via concrete pillars and a steel column to allow for parking underneath. Rectangular in plan, the elevated dwelling has exterior walls clad in white metal siding – a decision inspired by the site’s conditions. Inside, the home features an atypical floor plan, with the private areas on the first level and the public zone up above. The dwelling encompasses 1,040 square feet. On the first level, a bedroom and an office are separated by a tall wardrobe that rests on felt pads. If the homeowner prefers, the closet unit can be moved against a wall to create one large space. Other aspects of the home were also designed with adaptability in mind.
The Lookout’s finishes are simple and sturdy. The cooking area is fitted with flat-front cabinetry and counters topped with Richlite – a durable material made of resin-infused paper. Overall, the home is meant to exhibit a lightness and ease of movement not often associated with small spaces.