Seattle has been home one of the nation’s hottest housing markets for years. And with all that growth comes questions around urban density, affordability and how to address growing housing needs. Big Mouth House is an answer to those questions from Best Practice Architecture. Developed by three Seattle architects, this multi-family project is an example of what versatile, forward-thinking, multi-family living can look like. Transformed from a single-family Central District residential lot, the project encompasses three townhomes (one unit at 1,850 sf and two units at 1,420 sf each). Each unit is a flexible urban home with a studio space, the main living area, and a rooftop deck to enjoy unbeatable views.
Black metal cladding envelops the exterior–bringing cohesiveness to the project. A rooftop mural and custom pink powder-coated panels, railing and signage provide pops of color. To help manage stormwater, the team incorporated a planted bio-retention zone and ensured the pathway and parking area is composed of previous paving systems to allow water to pass through.
Inside, all units have a lower level income Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). These ADUs are connected to the interior, but also have a separate entrance. This flexible space can be used to expand the home (an additional bedroom, office, or family room) or as an independent apartment (to generate additional income as a short or long term rental).
Within units A and B, the ADUs are on the lower level and can be accessed from a lockable interior door or separate entrance. This floor also includes storage space. The second level has two bedrooms and a bathroom. The third floor features a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The location of the property was crucial to the design. By elevating the main living areas and putting windows on both sides, the team took full advantage of downtown views.
In Unit C, the ADU unit, storage space, office area, and bike zone are located on the lower level. On the second floor, an open kitchen connects to the dining and living room with a large floor-to-ceiling window. Bedrooms, laundry, a guest bathroom and a stairway to the roof are located on the upper level. The intentional design of Big Mouth House offers urban homeowners much-needed flexibility not available in traditional home design. As city populations grow, architects can look to collaborations like this for smart, innovative solutions to questions around urban living and multi-family design.
Photographer: Ed Sozinho