Outdoor living room with a gas fire pit. – Urban Yard at The Seattle Box – Board & Vellum

Landscape Architecture

Urban Yard at The Seattle Box

Making the absolute most out of a small urban lot.

These days, there are a lot of common amenities that people add to their wishlists for upgrading an urban yard: a fire pit, a private garden, privacy from neighbors, somewhere to grow fresh herbs, an outdoor cooking area, a dog run, a hot tub, a play area for the kids, space for a party, outdoor dining, somewhere sunny, somewhere shady, you name it. Often, there also needs to be a driveway and parking area somewhere, too. This project was no exception, but presented an additional challenge: all the items on the list, plus it’s on a small urban lot, measuring in at under 4,000 SF.

Every square inch mattered, and it takes an architect’s meticulous attention to detail to run all the numbers to score every bit of build-out allowed by the zoning code. The key to the yard is a series of low decks forming a series of outdoor rooms. (One small, but hugely important, point that makes all the difference: these decks must be no more than 18" above the gently sloping front yard to comply with the code.)

This series of outdoor rooms mirror the functional purposes we associate with interior spaces: a place to cook, a place to dine, a place to sit around the fire, a place with a view, a place with shelter.

Space is at a premium in urban areas like Seattle, and this project has been an amazing experiment in proving that even tiny lots can have great outdoor spaces.

Curious about the inside of this house?
The architecture and interior design that transformed the interior of this home is also a B&V project, the Seattle Box Remodel.

B&V Project Team:
Jeff Pelletier, AIA, CPHCPrincipal

Concept design by Scot Eckley and Board & Vellum.
Planting and garden design by Withey Price.
General contracting by Manos Construction.
Custom entry gate, custom planters, and railings by Architectural Elements.
Driveway gates by Automated Gates & Equipment.
Lighting and irrigation by Soundview Landscape & Irrigation.
Photography by Derek Reeves.

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