Universal Design 


Photography by Nils Schlebusch

What fun to work on this passive house project guided by Universal Design principles as a fully accessible home.  The client’s need for a home that would accommodate her wheelchair as well as be energy efficient, unique, beautiful, and functional all added to the enjoyment Rowan had being the one entrusted to fulfill all these wishes.  The house was designed with an open floor plan and large windows that allow the expanse of view to become a feature of the home.

Using the idea of melding the outside with the inside materials were chosen for their durability and naturalness.The design of cabinetry, closets, vanities, and mudroom was driven by the ease of use, and the need to have spaces and units that would easily accommodate someone who uses a wheelchair - ie. more drawers , cabinets with sliding doors that hung off the walls and were reinforced with steel brackets, roll-in showers and closets and shelving hung at heights accessible to someone seated as opposed to standing. All building and design had to be worked thoughtfully and with the owner in mind. 

The use of teak in the bathrooms and closet was driven by it’s durability and the owner’s love of water and sailing.