Alley Cat

A DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit) in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood built for off-the-grid living.

The solar powered DADU features an open floor plan, music loft and double-height spa room filled with natural light from the south-facing skylights.

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Due to the urban backyard location, a careful approach to the site was required to ensure the structure does not overpower neighboring houses or obstruct views.


The homeowners were looking for a flexible space separate from their main house that can serve as both a guest house for their touring musician friends, backyard party zone, and a future home when they are ready to downsize and live off-the-grid.


The double-height ceiling, open layout and natural light make the space feel larger than 800 square feet. The plywood interiors add warmth and texture, creating a cozy vibe in the light filled home. The double-height “spa” room lit by skylights creates a nice refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

An asymmetrical roof created space for a music loft (accessible via drop down ladder) that is flooded with natural light from the south-facing skylights. The other portion of the roof is dedicated to solar panels that will generate enough energy to power both the DADU and the main house.