A few weeks ago, our office entered the Add-On ’13 competition. Bringing together local knowledge and international expertise, the competition is set in Cape Cod and the project is to design an accessory unit on the site of an existing home. The town of Wellfleet is promoting accessory dwellings as a means of affordable housing, with incentives such as tax reliefs and grants. The competition challenges the norm of affordable housing typically being located in the city and relocating the idea to a different environment. The lack of variety of housing in Cape Cod is threatening the area’s economic health. Cape Cod’s natural environment has also become threatened by overuse and its freshwater aquifer is in danger.
As we started to look at this project, we looked to traditional architectural forms of the area. However, with the given site and its restraints, setbacks, and height restrictions, we knew that a series of transformations would have to take place. These transformations included environmental factors, site efficiency, and three different spatial zones to be established. Environmental strategies used in our design are rainwater collection and storage, solar collection, toilet compost, passive heating and cooling, and multiple glazing strategies. The change in grade also allows for water storage beneath the house as well as parking. A combination of public, service, and private zones are used to create a plan that provides spaces for everyday living.
More details about the competition can be found on the website: http://addon13.blogspot.com/