Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

Practicing ArchitectureAwards

Page Tools

CMD Insight for Architects


2010 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award Recipient

Category 4: Housing Accessibility—Alan J. Rothman Award

Madrona Live / Work

Photo 1 of 7



    This project transcends our
    preconceptions about accessible
    design and illustrates how
    Universal Design can be
    embodied in a design solution
    that is attractive and usable to a
    wide audience.

    While small scale, this project
    evidences how accessibility and
    high quality design can go hand
    in hand. 


    2010 AIA/HUD
    Secretary’s Awards

    Andrew V. Porth, AIA, chair
    Porth Architects, Inc.
    Red Lodge, Mont.

    Natalye Appel, FAIA
    Natalye Appel + Associates

    Geoffrey Goldberg, AIA
    G. Goldberg and Associates

    Grace Kim, AIA
    Schemata Workshop

    Jane Kolleeny
    Architectural Record

    New York City

    Luis F. Borray, Assoc. AIA
    U.S. Department of Housing
    & Urban Development
    Washington, D.C.

    Regina C. Gray, PhD
    U.S. Department of Housing
    & Urban Development
    Washington, D.C.



Tyler Engle Architects PS



John and Tina Kucher




Notes of Interest

A storefront from the early 1900’s has been converted into a live / work space for a couple with an extensive art collection. Creating the modern equivalent of the traditional courtyard house, the new design is centered on a large skylight over the living and dining room. Inspired by a shipping container, a wood-clad service core houses the kitchen and powder room. A flexible and multi-functional space is facilitated by large pocket doors, steel plate blinders that hide the kitchen and concealed equipment that pivots out for use.

Like the client whose personality makes the obviousness of his disability disappear, so was the intent to make the design of this project the primary focus rather than the requirements of accessibility. Entering from the sidewalk, the main living space has a single level polished concrete slab for unrestricted wheelchair access. However, the office is raised up four steps to be flush with the sidewalk at the rear of the site to satisfy the client’s desire to “commute to work” around the perimeter of the building. A floating concrete countertop that steps from low to high accommodates disparate height requirements of the clients and exemplifies how the design provides an elegant solution on a tight construction budget.




Swenson Say Faget


General Contractor


Christensen Construction


Photo Credit


© Benjamin Benschneider Photography


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy