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Collection by Kelly Dawson

A Dilapidated Garage Transformed Into a Small Modern Cottage

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An architect builds a 432-square-foot dwelling behind his home.

Architect Eric Haesloop and his wife were longtime residents of their century-old Berkeley, California house when an idea for a renovation arose. On the far end of their property, in the sunniest section of the backyard, sat a garage that Haesloop remembers being “just about ready to fall down.” Haesloop wanted to make better use of his land and he thought about rebuilding the site into a stand-alone cottage. His architecture firm Turnbull Griffin Haesloop started by recycling the garage, and then built a modern, energy-efficient structure in its place. “The new cottage goes across the back edge of the yard, and with the vine-covered wall, it provides a wonderful backdrop for the garden and complete privacy for the cottage,” he said. UC Berkeley students have been renting the space since its completion—a Swedish couple followed by a current post-graduate—and Haesloop said that the space is also open to his kids after they finish college. But, that’s another idea.

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