This small structure, sited in the rear yard of a residential property in northwest Washington, DC is designed to provide garage space and a small studio to service the main residence. The project is intended to mediate between a gritty public alley and a landscaped rear yard with swimming pool. The addition of the new structure combines with the main residence to provide a private “courtyard” type space where the swimming pool and terrace are located. The 560 square foot building is a simple rectangular volume with minimal fenestration. A tall chimney element is designed to accommodate all roof infrastructure penetrations in a single location and to provide a plenum for both natural and mechanical ventilation. Corrugated zinc siding is oriented horizontally to emphasize the length of the composition. A wood slatted fence is designed to be harmonious with adjacent side garden while a Corten steel wall at the rear property line responds to the less refined alley context.
A small bathroom services the studio and provides a changing room for swimmers. The garage space, designed originally to house an automobile, proved to be a very flexible space. Soon after the structure was completed, the owner’s “millennial” son removed the car, inhabited the space and made it his own.
This project is efficiently designed, employing a simple, straightforward massing intended to provide a screen between the rear yard and the public alley. It is designed to be in scale with courtyard it creates and the surrounding terraces and landscaping.