Casa Mini is the result of an I-90 surplus lot—a remnant from the Interstate reconstruction project during the 1980’s. This young couple’s design objective? A live/work residence designed to their taste and needs.
This sub-standard sized lot (2,276 square feet) was challenging but buildable. The complexity of the site dictated an innovative solution in which functionality and aesthetics worked together.
Accommodating the program within the limits of the local zoning code required a full basement with natural light, outdoor living space and a separate entrance. The grade was terraced back to achieve three planted levels allowing light to tumble down while preserving privacy.
At street level is the living/dining area and a small deck off the kitchen. The upper floor is a bedroom suite with a large deck over the double height carport (intended to accommodate a car-lift for the required covered two-car parking). The roof is a full deck with 270-degree views from the Cascades to the Olympics. The stairwell extends in a shaft from the basement to the roof. This draws light and air through with living spaces.
The house is constructed using Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP) technology that provides an extremely tight thermal envelope and effective sound isolation. Through ambient process such as kitchen appliances and electronics, a constant temperature is maintained rarely requiring the use of the heating/cooling system.
Mercer Island, Washington
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