Today Rockville architect Jeff Broadhurst unveiled his Crib, a modernist cabin, at the Mansion at Strathmore. Based on a cabin he built for his family in West Virginia, this updated version is a mix of warm wood and industrial steel combined in a contemporary fashion. Furthermore, it’s designed as a kit of parts that can be easily transported and quickly assembled, and by standing on four piers, it can be built in nearly any terrain. Unlike most cabins that are dark and claustrophobic, the Crib’s high ceilings and translucent walls make it spacious and airy. Plus one wall opens like a garage door, stretching the living room onto the porch. It’s a very clever and beautiful design worthy of Sunset magazine or Architectural Digest, and ideal for a couple or small family that wants to live simply yet stylishly. It’ll be on display at Strathmore for two years and used as a studio and gallery for several of their artists-in-residence. Check it out and see what one of your neighbors has been up to.
It comes across to me as a good alternative for an in-law suite in back of someone’s house. City & County have very stringent codes for such out-buildings, which i think is reasonable to protect the integrity of neighborhoods. However, this kind of building is the flexibility that could help families especially those who want to help seniors maintain their independence. Or, for adult children with affordability issues in the area.
Thanks for your comments, Jim. The Crib has possibilities, but it would require some reconfiguration inside since it lacks a kitchen and the beds are placed in a loft area reached by a ladder (I can’t see my folks willing to do that!). But I do think we need to consider alternative ways of living other than single family and multiple family–how about extended family? I know many people are concerned about density, but I’d rather see a small secondary homes on large lots scattered throughout the city to allow for several generations to live together in a safe and comfortable manner, than either cramming them all into one house or away in a big apartment building. We know that our 65+ population and the cost of living is going to grow in the next few years, and I’d rather have my folks living with me (but not in my house for sanity’s sake) so I can easily care for them and not have them worry about their fixed income. Where I lived previously, we allowed this under a conditional use permit and we never had complaints (neighbors would show up at Planning Commission meetings to ask questions, but after we discussed it, no one objected).
Learn more about The Crib and the architect here.
Thanks for the additional information. It will be featured in the Washington Post in the next week, too.