Local codes would have prevented replacing it with a new building and so the decision was made to rehabilitate it. In order to maximize the density and utility of the small 3200sf lot it was decided to convert the garage into a rentable studio apartment.
Built in the 1920’s, this 320sf garage located on a single-family lot was in an advanced state of decay and in need of a new foundation. Local codes would have prevented replacing it with a new building and so the decision was made to rehabilitate it. In order to maximize the density and utility of the small 3,200sf lot it was decided to convert the garage into a rentable studio apartment.
The objective for the studio apartment was to create a functional living space for a single person that felt open and spacious despite the small volume.
Several aspects of the original building were retained including the rhythm of window openings along the south wall, the worn heavy plank floor, and the painted board interior wall cladding. A compact core was inserted, containing a bathroom, refrigerator, oven, clothes closet, and steep stair to the sleeping loft above. A small “light scoop” window was added in the kitchenette to direct late afternoon light deep into the space. The sleeping loft platform extends into the living space to form continuous book shelves under the interior eaves. Collar-ties were added to the ceiling framing to stiffen the roof. These were cut progressively shorter to both maximize ceiling height in the loft and guide warm air to a triangular vent window.
The excavation for the new foundation also allowed for the addition of workshop and storage space below the studio. The addition of terraces, paths, steps, and a fence separated the garage and main house increasing privacy for both, and created small functional zones of use.