There is a veritable geyser of data tracking housing today. From existing-home sales, to house prices, to new-home permits, to starts—housing metrics abound.
Get more out of less space
Seattle architect Ross Chapin knows all about designing smaller, smarter homes. Chapin, principal of Ross Chapin Architects, Langley, Wash., has long been a proponent of conserving resources by cutting down on unnecessary square footage.
May 20, 2013
Project profile: Inglenook of Carmel
Front porches on the Inglenook homes connect them to the outdoors and the community as a whole. They’re additional living spaces that don’t have to be heated or cooled. Photos: Inglenook of Carmel
Until recently, Carmel, Ind., has been a city of large single-family homes in conventional subdivisions. Builder/developer Casey Land of Land Development & Building Co., Indianapolis, is offering a very different experience: smaller homes clustered around a shared common area.
At Inglenook of Carmel, Land is implementing Chapin’s pocket-neighborhood concept, which is well entrenched in the Pacific Northwest. Pocket neighborhoods are designed with an intimate community focus. Homes face a central green space with walkways, while streets, garages, and parking are accessed behind the homes. Front porches, another key element, face one another in groups of up to four homes.
Inglenook’s 27 homes are small by Carmel standards, ranging from 1,060 to 2,176 square feet. Chapin adapted several of the plans in his portfolio for the project, adding basements and attached garages to appeal to Midwesterners.
A vaulted ceiling and transom windows in the living room of the Coho model expand the perception of space.
Building smaller houses can be tricky, Land says. “There are more consequences to moving a wall than in a larger house because you may impact three other spaces dramatically,” he says. “You’re moving a wall inches instead of feet. [At Inglenook], adding attached garages was a huge effort because it affected window placement.”
The lots are 1/12 of an acre and density is five units per acre, “so there’s a lot of common area,” he says.
By extending this stair landing a few feet, architect Ross Chapin was able to fit in a tall bookcase and a window seat. Shown is the Plumrose model.
Land views the project as a beta test, but predicts it will catch on in Carmel: “We’re tweaking the product and the site and making sure that everything is exactly right, so we can take it to two other markets.” While he declined to say where those markets are located, he notes that Inglenook “is hitting home with a lot of people right now.”
With prices ranging from $223,000 to $400,000, the homes appeal to a wide range of buyers including families, young professionals, retirees, and empty nesters who are downsizing. Land has sold four to date.
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