Photography by Lauren K. Davis at Feinkopf
The Oxford Street Garage presents an opportunity to define outdoor space by inserting a carefully crafted Architectural response to the simple need for shelter against the elements for personal vehicles. The back yard of this residence is unique in it's proportions, stretching over two hundred feet to an adjacent commercial parking lot. The Owner requested that the garage provide definition and character to the yard for hosting family and friends with children. Alder James' vision uses the garage to separate the yard into three distinct zones. The zone between the home and garage presents a formal gathering space with defined areas for seating and outdoor dining as well as gardening outside of the kitchen for herbs and vegetables. At the garage, a large concrete apron is conceptualized to act as an outdoor amphitheater where the Owner and her guests can sit to enjoy movies projected directly onto the garage door in summer evenings or participate in a basketball game during the day. The large zone on the far side of the garage provides for an expansive lawn with old-growth trees dotting the landscape. The trees become opportunities for outdoor activities such as swinging in hammocks, running slack lines, and mounting hoses for giant slip-n-slides.
Local design guidelines require that the Architecture of the garage be harmonious within the historic colonial town of Worthington, Ohio. A stripped down American Colonial style serves as the basis of the design. The style is modernized with clean lines, simple and durable materials, and contemporary proportions including tall, slender windows with low sills that allow for enhanced daylighting. The interior is finished in white walls with a vaulted ceiling featuring exposed structural collar ties. The lighting strategy is inspired by art galleries with dimmable directional recessed fixtures. A workshop area is defined within the larger space through the use of a low L-shaped wall supporting a peninsula workbench with low cabinetry.