Residential Design

VOL.2 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Party in the Back MCKINNEY YORK ARCHITECTS AUSTIN, TEXAS All project photos: Thomas McConnell. Por traits: Kore Howell Photography McKinney York Architects in Austin, Texas, designs buildings of all types, but the common denominator across all of them is their human scale and warmth. Even the bank buildings they design exude an inviting domesticity. This deep understanding of comfort and appeal is especially suited to residential work, and the firm always has a substantial number of dwellings on the boards. This project in Austin's North Loop brings to bear the firm's problem-solving abilities, its expertise in residential work, and its design ingenuity—all distilled into a compact, 850-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Austin is among the many cities attempting to densify its existing neighborhoods as a way to increase housing inventory and affordability. The jurisdiction is already several iterations into its revision of residential zoning codes, and even more generous codes are on the horizon. The client who brought this project to architect Heather McKinney, FAIA, and project architect Aaron Taylor, AIA, already had a small house on the property—a 1930s bunga- low that was only 940 square feet, with just two bedrooms and a single bathroom, on a relatively ample 6,200-square- foot lot. Many homeowners in these older neighborhoods, faced with increasing property values in up-and-coming markets, are choosing to blow out the main house on the lot— maximizing square footage, but also frequently violating the scale of the street. This client, however, understood the value of his alley-access lot and decided to take a more progressive approach to its development. He knew he wanted a second dwelling, but was unsure of his ultimate goal for the property and wanted to keep all options open. So, he pushed the archi- tects to work in as much function and livability as they could into its highly constrained envelope. The result is a two bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house with commodious indoor/outdoor living options and—believe it or not—a two-car garage. Such a program can support a wide variety of domestic arrangements—roommates, a small family, a live-work flat, and more. Heather and Aaron think this project offers a great template for how to address and answer the potential of ADU-friendly residential codes. RD: Tell us about the neighborhood and context for this project. HM: This is one of our inner city's really desirable, wonderful neighborhoods just north of the core. It's noted for its bun- galows, its nice scale of houses, and big, mature trees. It's a very walkable neighborhood. I think it would fall under New Urbanism—there are small groceries relatively close by. A lot of people live here and bicycle to the university or to work. Top and above: The new alley dwelling sits just behind the original bungalow on the property. Heather McKinney and Aaron Taylor hope the accessory dwelling will spark ideas about how to implement Austin's ADU codes. 11 VOL. 2, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VERBATIM

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