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"Toolbox" covered parking, utility storage and workbench


The "Toolbox" is a new covered parking, storage, and workbench space replacing a 1920's single car garage for a bungalow residence in the Houston Heights. The program dictated squeezing covered parking for two cars between a massive pecan tree and the back corner of the property. Saving the original slab helped lower costs, and minimizing new slab additions prevented damage to the large tree during construction.

The project is open on all sides to reduce scale and provide ventilation and natural light. The workbench element is visually separated from the roof and opens completely to the covered slab beyond two pairs of rolling metal doors. These doors are suspended from a laminated wood beam supported on poured-in-place concrete columns, providing lateral support for the open structure. To maximize storage of tools and equipment, wood studs and trusses are spaced 24" apart. A canvas covers the end truss and is stretched between web members. Bolts, screws, and all structural hardware are oversized and extended to accentuate connections. The small window in the workbench area is sized to the siding and framing module providing a direct view to the kids play area. Wood siding and color match the original 1920 house, while the corrugated metal roof recalls the former garage.

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