A Danville SDU Allows For Inter-generational Living

I stepped the windows in the stair hall to maximize the light coming in, but maintain the privacy.

David Locicero | architect

Completed in 2018

1000 square foot addition / Secondary Dwelling Unit

Private Clients

The Problem: The parents were facing retirement. They wanted to down-size and make a home where they could be close to their children and grand children, but could also just lock up and go traveling.

The house from the street. The 2nd floor is held back from the front.

The Clients: An active extended family consisting of two generations, which became three generations during the project. The parents are a mature professional couple who were planning for retirement. Their children are a busy professional couple. A grand child was born while the project was under construction.

The Solution: The solution started with the clients’ idea that they could build a Secondary Dwelling Unit on the same property as the family’s house. Their children could take over the primary dwelling, and they could move into the new secondary dwelling.

The best solution was for the new secondary dwelling to be an addition to the existing house. This allowed the unit to be larger than a free-standing dwelling, as well as allowing a connection between the primary dwelling and the addition. In the end, the City wouldn’t allow cooking facilities in the addition if their was a connection between the addition and primary dwelling.

The addition is two stories with a grand room on the ground floor that connects to the primary dwelling, allowing their grand child to come and go. The private spaces, bedroom and sitting room are upstairs on a second floor.

The 1st floor room looking toward the original house
The 2nd floor looking toward the master bedroom.
This two story apartment was built so the extended family could take advantage of grandparent proximity.

The Results: The addition allows for inter-generational living. The parents have been able to down-size to a series of spaces that meet their needs. They can spend lots of time with their grand child, see their kids on a regular basis, and are still able to close up their house and go traveling, knowing that it will be secure.

They can still all still cook and eat together as a family, or the parents can retreat to their own space. The new addition created a courtyard where the entire family can gather outside. The rooms in the addition have windows on two or three sides. The upstairs sitting room has windows on 4 sides, providing incredible natural light as well as views out over the neighborhood.

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