Thursday, July 23, 2009

A house built in stages, a house built for the ages…

With the rising cost of well, just about everything and the falling home prices across the US, we in the design field have found ourselves between a rock and a hard place. People are finally starting to see the light and wishing to downsize. Retirees and young families alike are finding they can live just fine in 2,000 sqft or less. The issue is that with costs rising and salaries’ flat lining no one has the money to build even 2,000 square feet (at once).

Enter – the evolution cottage. In its simplest form the evolution cottage begins with a core space – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, breakfast, laundry and living room all in around 1,200 to 1,400 square feet. The perfect size for a newly married couple - one room becomes their bedroom, one room becomes a home office/ guest room and life begins. Five years down the road this couple decides they are ready to start a family – the two bedrooms that suited them well for a few years now needs a nursery.

Enter – the evolution appendage. The appendage options for the evolution cottages are endless. They are basically additional rooms that could be attached to the core in any direction based on lot and size restraints. And how do these wonderful spaces connect to one another? With a knuckle of course! The knuckles or service spaces (vestibules, sun rooms, screened porches, offices, media spaces, etc) serve as connection devices between the core and the appendage. The theory being that a couple would build a basic core then have the ability to build new spaces when needed without having to pack up and move and without being expensive or invasive to the existing cottage. We have been working on this idea for a year or so and have some great designs that are nearing completion. Please check them out on our website at


  1. Love your designs!!! This is an awesome idea, one with real longevity!

  2. Laura Batson CobhamJanuary 29, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    My father is an architect in Greenville. I adore him, but he is a very busy institutional designer who suggested I check out your work PRECISELY BECAUSE I want a "phased" home build on my Upstate farm. (And for the sanctity of family relationships, its best that I steer clear of him PROFESSIONALLY ;);)

    Additionally, my cousins live in I'on and Habersham, so my admiration of your aesthetic was passive until my dad helped me make the connection to MDG.

    The brilliance of building out our homestead like a steel-roofed Lego Land is the ideal solution to the problem of gently "evolving" a new "old" home into the established farmland that will surround it.

    Your designs are EXQUISITE in their simplicity and I look forward to working with your office to make my dream a reality.