- Garden Features
- New Construction
Eastsound, Orcas Island, Washington
Contractor: N.W. Craftsman LLC
This project consists of site planning and design for ten houses of two floor-plan types. The project is adjacent to the small village of Eastsound which has a distinctive island character we wished to complement in our work. A large part of this site was classified as wetland, which restricted the allowable area of site coverage by buildings and pavement. The houses are sited along a shared driveway loop off of the higher speed public road, with garages placed below each house to reduce the amount of site coverage. Almost all of the houses have a 'vest pocket' view down the communal wetlands or greenspace towards the south and out to the water. The houses are 'urban cottages' which spread vertically instead of horizontally to maintain a small and efficient footprint, allowing the creation of an urban village.
'Alder Cottages' are approximately 1850 sq. ft. with two bedrooms upstairs. The Alder Commons site plan creates semi-private gardens between the houses from which the south-facing front porch is entered. These gardens are approached from either the driveway or the commonly held greenspace. Homeowners can walk from their front door through the greenspace to the town bandstand and farmers market without crossing any streets. Elevation is manipulated to clarify the shift from public to private as you move from the driveway up to the entry garden, and then up to the porch, continuing on into the interior. The dining area exemplifies the potential for overlapping uses which makes a small house work well: there is a comfortable south-facing window seat, as well as enough wallspace for an upright piano.
'Cedar Cottages' are approximately 2150 sq. ft. with one bedroom on the main floor and two bedrooms upstairs. Programmatically these houses are very similar to 'Alder Cottages'. Due to the site layout the garage had to be on the same side of the house as the front porch and entry, with the arch used as a device to prevent the garage door from being the primary element on this elevation. Photography: John Altberg