Seattle-based design studio, Graypants, were responsible for the reconstruction of what was an old post-World War II garage into the bright, multifunctional space it is today. Simply called “The Garage”, the glass clad building can be found on the south-east island of Seattle, Vashon.
The Garage is sited along the shore of the island, and takes advantage of its spectacular site by “opening up to the surroundings” – it features an all glass roof and walls. To minimise the amount of internal heat gain, the roof features timber louvre’s that help to filter out some of the incoming light. The building can also be physically opened up to the exterior through the use of its large operable, garage-like windows.
The original garage had to be mostly dismantled due to its condition, but Graypants salvaged what they could from the wreck – the old fir boards were reused as flooring, as well as providing a cladding surface for some of the spaces (like the shower).
The sheer amount of glazing means that the building has no need for artificial lighting during the day, and the fact that a lot of the glazing is also operable allows the space to be naturally ventilated. At night efficient interactive LED panels illuminate the interior, creating a “glowing lantern” against the backdrop of the island.
The Garage functions as a speakeasy, a lounge, a retreat, a studio and as a granny unit. The interior has been left mostly devoid of furniture and furnishings. The back wall is lined with some storage compartments, shelving, and a wood burning stove. The seating consists of two armchairs, and an assortment of rugs. The shower can be found on the outside of the building.
In recognition of their work, they were recently awarded the 2013 AIA Honor Award for architecture based in Washington.