Over the past
ten years or so, a new concept in cottage living has been quietly evolving in and around the Seattle area. Two
men, one a noted architect who believes in the value and scale of small houses and the other, a developer willing to gamble
on something out of the norm, have successfully developed and marketed a series of compact residential clusters, each consisting
of a few Craftsman-style cottages ranging in size from 800 to 1500 square feet.
designs themselves were the inspiration of Ross Chapin, an architect who believes that the vitality of a community depends
upon more than just the size of the houses in it, Working with Jim Soules, a Seattle developer, the two
have embarked on creating viable, and sold-out, communities of pocket neighborhoods…a term referring
to their practice of using small parcels of boutique-sized tracts in existing neighborhoods and squeezing
a dozen or so dwellings around grassy commons and green spaces.
In some ways, these homes are a reflection of the courtyard bungalows that were
built in some Seattle neighborhoods of the 1920s, prior to the advent of the suburban family tract housing that has prevailed
in American’s housing since post World War II.
Today, developers around the country are recognizing the value that some buyers place on smaller housing and are adapting
Chapin’s designs for projects in other cities. And some cities are revising their zoning codes to
permit a higher density, so as to make such developments economically feasible.
All photos courtesy of The Cottage Company
about these cottages and pocket neighborhoods
The Cottage Company
Ross Chapin Company
Tiny House Blog
Seattle Times article
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