Merit Winner

Design Team Member(s)
kurt McGrane, Architecture Team – Project ArchitectCristina Coddington, Architecture Team – Design Consultant
Project Description:
The Alley Lofts provide a model for living large within a small footprint – spatially, economically, and ecologically. With a miniscule budget of $130 per square foot, the lofts embody a sustainable, attractive home and supplemental rental within a gritty backstreet context. Located on a former backyard infill lot in central Missoula, this new compact duplex apartment is surrounded by a dense mix of two-story apartments, mother-in-law units, and larger single-family residences. The lofts’ simple two and a half story gabled form ties in visually with its bulky neighbors, while the minimal detailing, dark stained fir siding, and custom steel elements give hints of the richness within. Plenty of storage is crucial for livability – two garages and a bonus room occupy the first floor. Upstairs, the efficient apartment units feel much larger than they are. The lofted, open floor plans allow for a sharing of light, views, and air between adjacent spaces. Oversized juliet balconies open up the interiors to the mountain views, while second floor living maintains privacy from the busy alley. A mix of natural woods, warm white walls, and black accents make up a balanced, calming interior palette. Clean energy from the 6kW rooftop solar array powers a highly-efficient, all-electric heating and cooling system. Preliminary energy modeling projects that the lofts will approach net zero.

Program Requirements:
LOT SIZE: 3,150 SF UNIT A: 668 SF UNIT A GARAGE: 255 SF UNIT B: 569 SF UNIT B GARAGE: 341 SF SHARED STAIR: 106 SF BONUS ROOM: 209 SF MECHANICAL: 34 SF TOTAL: 2,182 SF

Sustainability Goals:
• Raw linseed oil is a solvent free wood finish stain and is an all-natural yet more durable option than traditional petroleum based stains. • 6 kW rooftop photovoltaic array provides clean renewable energy – net zero likely • Minisplit heat pump provides energy efficient heating and cooling. • The open plan design precludes the need for ducting. • A constantly running highly efficient ceiling fan prevents heat stratification • Large windows in all spaces provide daylighting • LED light fixtures throughout • Motion sensor switches in garages and shared hallway • Kitchen cabinets made from recycled plastic bottles. • Recycled cellulose insulation

Design Solutions:
• A required fifteen-foot utility easement provided space for a small urban garden. • Wood siding starts 30” above the ground to keep it from premature degradation due to snow and rain. • Custom perforated steel balcony railings visually connect the exterior and interior detailing • Second floor living offers privacy from the busy alley • Insulated double stud wall with four layers of sheetrock provides sound isolation between units • A white tinted stain was added to the interior woods to make them more homogenous • The exposed tongue and groove kitchen ceiling is also the finished floor of the loft • Custom stainless steel countertops and black Ikea cabinetry were a cost effective and highly functional option for the kitchen • The owners self-performed the tiling, staining, and landscaping in order to keep the project in budget.

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