Set in the Travis Heights neighborhood in South Austin, the Chelsea ADU is an 1100 sf Accessory Dwelling Unit that was designed in concert with a 3300 sf house that shares the lot. Splitting an existing lot into two allows for a level of density not historically seen in this area of Austin.

Project Name: Chelsea ADU
Studio Name:
Davey McEathron Architecture
Location: Austin, United States
Photography: Leonid Furmansky
Project size: 1100 ft2
Site size: 11800 ft2
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 2

Chelsea ADU By Davey McEathron Architecture - Sheet1
Kitchen+Living Room ©Leonid Furmansky

The ADU responds to the lot by dodging the heritage trees to the north and west, while creating a spacious and private front yard. A semi-attached garage creates a modern version of the Texas dogtrot, while blocking the living area of the ADU from the west-setting sun. Large windows are concentrated to the north side of the ADU for plenty of natural light while reducing the solar heat gain in the summer and encouraging passive cross-ventilation.

Chelsea ADU By Davey McEathron Architecture - Sheet2
Bedroom ©Leonid Furmansky

The compact size required a creative approach to the design and layout of the house. The kitchen island performs double duty as a dining table and a food preparation surface. The HVAC, laundry and the powder room are grouped together in a block behind the kitchen that allows the remaining first-floor plan to remain open, making the space feel as large as possible.

Chelsea ADU By Davey McEathron Architecture - Sheet3
Backyard ©Leonid Furmansky

A playful use of color in the kitchen draws the eye to the back of the space upon entry. On the second floor, both bedrooms are allowed to expand onto individual rooftop decks. Davey McEathron Architecture fabricated several custom components in the house, including the steel structure for the island/table, the planter/firebox in the front yard, and the stair guards.


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