The Automobile and the Anchorage Garage

Alaska and Anchorage in particular have become very automobile-centric, especially the current state of residential architecture. Anchorage's most prevalent home designs often feature a three-car garage front and center, a front door shifted to the side and the remainder of the house working itself around the garage. Unfortunately, while a three car garage in practice sounds generous, they are often undersized, with minimum space for large vehicles, doors to open or any type of real storage to occur within. More often than not, a three car garage is paired with an assortment of vehicles and toys parked in the driveway (covenants and restrictions notwithstanding). Further compounding the issue is the typical lack of basements and attics as dedicated storage spaces.

We have often heard these complaints about lack of storage, unusable garages and a recognition by clients that the garage should not be front and center taking up valuable real estate and blocking all the light in the front of the home. Often our solution to these issues, given enough property, is to pull the garage mass away from the main mass of a home and utilize a small connection containing a family entry. This arrangement allows for the garage to be subservient to the house, allows the home design recapture a gracious front entry and front façade with many windows and clearly designates the approach sequence to a beautiful front door.

The garages themselves are generously sized to allow side by side parking, separate storage areas within and provided with windows for natural light. 

These features and design moves are part of The Switchback House, The Alaska Farmhouse and the Hygge House.