When architect, painter, and photographer David Hall constructed his work studio in the Samish River flood plain, he drew the curiosity and admiration of others in his craft. The 448-square-foot backyard box, built in the spring of 2010 for $106,000, is all things flexible. Hall and his wife first moved to the town of Edison in 1974, when they purchased their first house.
They’ve remained since, and STUDIOEDISON multitasks in ways that the Halls require. It’s a bedroom, guesthouse, art studio, exercise room, and reading retreat, among other things. When Hall entered STUDIOEDISON in Seattle’s FutureShack competition, sponsored by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) last summer, the judges were impressed with the structure’s ability to adapt to climate change, potential as emergency housing, and overall functionality, deeming it an ideal model for the urban ADU, or affordable dwelling unit.
STUDIOEDISON is situated in low country (4 feet above sea level) and sits on salvaged cedar posts. The underside is open in case of flooding. The house faces south and has floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors that open to the backyard garden and Skagit Valley views. It inspires Hall, principal at HKP Architects in Mount Vernon, to think about designing smaller residential projects. In the meantime, Hall and his wife look out at their studio and see “nothing but possibility.”