More than just a parking space
The inspiration for this project arose out of our work with smaller alley-accessed residential lots in Chicago and its older suburbs (such as Oak Park and Evanston), which pose the same challenge: how to make a meaningful back yard with what little space remains between garage and house. Many of these lots either have old and failing, or new plastic garages, neither of which really benefit their lot. We see the garage as potentially transformative to the back yard environment and experience. Rebuilding also gives the opportunity to recycle and introduce sustainable technology, such as geothermal wells under the new slab or photovoltaic solar collectors on the roof: the garage can be a power plant for the house. Unlike the ubiquitous cheap vinyl garages, the Green Garage is built to last, using as many local resources as are available. In keeping with our firm’s philosophy, each project is site-specific, making a meaningful place by linking users to their environment in delightful ways. While these prototypes are rendered as garden structures, like mini-barns, we can also adjust the architectural language (while maintaining the green garage principles) in the case of historically significant properties.
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