In the summer of 2016 Weber Thompson started with a simple idea: to design, build, and donate basic shelter for a family in need through the Low Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) Tiny House program. How hard could it be for a few architects to build an 8’ x 12’ structure over a few weekends, right?
Well the effort was far from tiny. The project required over 400 Weber Thompson staff hours, 60 hours of LIHI volunteer labor, and 110 hours of volunteer labor from spouses, friends and family members. In addition to over $3,000 of materials that Weber Thompson purchased for the project, several vendors that work closely with our office made generous material donations or offered discounts: Alki Lumber, Windows Doors & More, James Hardie Mohawk, Miller Paint,Allegion, First Lamp Architecture & Construction, Phinney Ridge Painting, Stone Source, and ArchEcology.
The WT Tiny House actually provides more than just basic shelter. We set a design goal to improve upon LIHI’s Tiny House prototype by 1) optimizing usable square footage, 2) adding light and ventilation, 3) increasing durability, and 4) keeping the assembly simple enough to be able to be constructed by unskilled labor.
We are happy to report that the completed WT prototype met these goals by providing an interior sleeping loft, an additional window, improved ventilation, added insulation and weatherproofing details, a lockable door, built-in storage, a front porch, and even a small solar panel to deliver enough power to the structure for simple lighting and device charging. We are pleased with the modifications we have brought to the Tiny House prototype, and hope they will provide its residents with an enhanced sense of home, pride, and connection to the larger community.
Providing basic shelter for a family or individual in need, with our own hands, has been incredibly rewarding. It has inspired us to be more connected to very real issues facing Seattle’s homeless residents. Our prototype improvements will be documented so that other firms, contractors or volunteers can replicate the Weber Thompson Tiny House, and provide their own shelter to someone in need.
Please visit LIHI’s Tiny House site or more information or to find out how you can get involved.
Learn more about the LIHI Tiny House movement:
Are Tiny House Encampments Answer to Homelessness? | Q13 FOX News
Q13 FOX News
March 2, 2017
Seattle’s teeny response to tiny houses for the homeless
The Seattle Times
February 15, 2017
Support and concerns for Seattle’s sanctioned homeless encampments
January 23, 2017
Seattle City Council clears way for 3 more homeless camps
The Seattle Times
January 17, 2017
Tiny houses: A big help for the homeless
January 4, 2017
Tiny houses could take pressure off Seattle’s homeless crisis
October 10, 2016