The Judkins Park House

Seattle, USA
2007

b9 architects inc.
www. b9architects. com

Seattle, situated on America’s Pacific North West coast, has a strong reputation for pro-active civic policy. Urban design, building standards and the use of clean energy technologies are constantly reviewed. Seattle’s public leaders announced in February 2010 that the city aspires to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Prior to this announcement, the city’s architects were already working towards this goal. Judkins Park House in Seattle was built by Bradley Khouri of b9 architects as a speculative, sustainable design development. The aim was to maximise the allowable density on a plot already occupied by a single storey farmhouse built in 1900. Bradley and his wife were resident owners of the existing farmhouse and developed a design strategy to recognise the constraints of the site.

The new property would be scaled appropriately,
preserving daylighting for the farmhouse. The Judkins Park House was located along the full length of the under-utilised, existing driveway with a roof sloping up and away from the farmhouse. The frontages of both dwellings are approximately the same width, and the set back from the road is identical. This considered plot layout facilitates consistency in the urban setting, with the new home providing the infill (Fig. l, Fig. 2).

The shared off-street parking area is constructed from Grasscrete, providing a green, durable, water permeable surface. Concrete slabs, broken up during the clearance of the old driveway, were recycled for use as paving material. The street – front garage is heated and illuminated, suggesting an inhabited space behind the glazed door (Fig. 2).

202 The Judkins Park House | Seattle | USA | Fig. 1 above | Fig. 2 opposite

1 SHARED GRASSCRETE DRIVEWAY

2 NEW TOWNHOUSE

3 NEW TOWNHOUSE OPEN SPACE

4 EXISTING 1900 FARMHOUSE

5 EXISTING 1900 FARMHOUSE OPEN SPACE

1 BEDROOM

2 BATHROOM

3 LIVING ROOM

4 DININGROOM

5 KITCHEN

6 BRIDGE

7 OPEN TO BELOW

8 ROOF EXISTING FARMHOUSE

Fig. 5 above | Fig. 6 below

The project’s plans and sections (Fig.3, Fig. 4, Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 12) illustrate how b9 architects skillfully maximised the building’s volume. The internal widths vary from 9.75 feet to 15 feet, with heights ranging from 8 feet to 29.75 feet.

The entrance hallway at ground level provides access to a media room and, subsequently, a bedroom. The open living spaces are arrayed above the entrance hall and accessed by a staircase located against a party wall, where the two dwellings meet (Fig. 7).

The first floor level kitchen and dining room are to be found at the top of the first stair flight (Fig. 8, Fig. 9). This area is linked to a living room by a bridge spanning the open space above the entrance hall (Fig. 10). Bedrooms and bathrooms are located behind the living room and at the top of another stair flight (Fig. 8, Fig. 10, Fig. 11). This customised use of space provides a new 1,940 square feet home attached to the existing 1,200 square feet farmhouse.

The new home was designed and constructed with
sustainability in mind. Preservation of the original farmhouse building now enables two families to enjoy neighbourly living on the previously under­utilised plot.

Technologies employed include the use of a roof top, solar powered system for the pre-heating of domestic and heating water. Greywater is re­used via a Brae System and dual flush toilets are installed throughout the property. Strategic placement of opening windows provides daylighting of the interior spaces and cross ventilation. In the kitchen, 100% recycled, locally sourced paperstone countertops cover the base units (Fig. 9).

The external walls and roof construction are heavily insulated. A rain screen moisture barrier was applied to the external walls, this allows the timber siding to act primarily as a solar shade (Fig. 13)

The combination of all these elements resulted in Judkins Park House achieving the second highest Built Green rating of four stars.