Location: Mukilteo, WA
Size: 2780 SF (Residence) 827 SF (Garage)
Photography: Quanta Collectiv
Designing architecture for accessibility is critical to creating an inclusive environment that honors and accommodates the needs of all individuals. In the home environment, our knowledge (borrowed from commercial architecture) of ICC, FHA and ADA regulations serve as a guide and starting point, although design is informed by the specific needs of the individual. Measures such as clear pathways, wellness-centered natural and manufactured lighting, adequate working and wheelchair clearance, accessible living and utility areas, and access to green space come together to create a warm and comfortable environment that everyone benefits from.
Our clients, Doug and Sopheay, wanted a home that met these design standards but didn’t look like it was designed singularly for accessibility. Doug is in a wheelchair and appreciates the lower kitchen counters that feature a cantilevered design allowing him prep food from either side. There is extra space surrounding two islands so that he can turn 360° and easily navigate the kitchen using a figure 8 pattern. Here, two islands versus one long one makes a world of difference in how Doug can use the kitchen efficiently.
The master bathroom features a flush entry, open shower that is sophisticated and beautiful while providing seamless accessibility. The bathroom is designed for scalability should Doug’s condition progress. Its tall ceiling and doors, and extra structure + blocking in ceilings, prepare the space for a Shurhand trapeze rail which will help him access the bathroom and bedroom in the future.
“We wanted it to be functional but also look good. That’s what we were looking for in an architect that Rhodes Architecture + Light did well in this house. When we hired an accessibility consultant to review the design, she was wowed by every room in the house. You can have beauty and accessibility at the same time.” – Doug, Homeowner