Located in a Seattle neighborhood with a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial uses, the structure was originally an auto parts store and repair shop with an apartment above. It is now a 4,500 square foot private garage and workshop with an upper floor bachelor pad. The project brief called for “a hideout, hangout, escape, and a place to find your inner kid.”

Project Name: Spielbox
Studio Name:
Chadbourne + doss architects
Location: Seattle, United States
Photography: Benjamin Benschneider
Project size: 4500 ft2
Site size: 6975 ft2
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 2

Spielbox by chadbourne + doss architects - Sheet1
Garage ©Benjamin Benschneider

The project is called Spielbox meaning ‘toy box’ in German. This place was built for playing, relaxing, and tinkering amongst collections of motorcycles, bones, pin ball machines, and more.

The 3,000 square foot Main Floor was converted to a large open area to store vintage motorcycles, collectable and racing dirt bikes, and a motorhome. A shop space at the back allows for all forms of dirty work including the repair and customization of motorcycles.

Spielbox by chadbourne + doss architects - Sheet2
Exterior View ©Benjamin Benschneider

Garage doors open the shop to an enclosed exterior work yard running the entire length of the building. A new 600 square foot addition provides storage for recreational gear for windsurfing, mountain biking, scuba, ski, camping, etc. Covered porches at the entries to the garage and the residence provide storage of wet gear.

The 1,500 square foot Upper Floor was transformed into an open playroom for cooking, pool, pinball, music and movies. Ceilings were removed to expose original timber trusses. A wood swing hangs from one. At one end, a continuous mill finish stainless steel counter forms the Kitchen and workbench.

Spielbox by chadbourne + doss architects - Sheet3
Workshop ©Benjamin Benschneider

A painted steel backsplash supports a funky magnet collection. Long open shelves above allow for the display of growing collections. At the opposite end, a large bedroom provides a quiet sanctuary.

The home is casual, low maintenance, and durable. Interiors use primarily plywood, sheetrock, and stainless steel. The exterior is clad in corrugated corten steel that provides a naturally enduring rust finish. Translucent polycarbonate panels provide light and privacy at storage areas. The Spielbox has a rugged industrial exterior that hides its playful and eclectic interior.


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