Halving It All

Double Dip Architect Michael Woodley’s two-for-one scheme is designed to jumpstart stalled subdivisions by fitting two small houses on a standard 50-foot-by-90-foot alley lot and turning the alleyway into a green spine. The design makes better use of the land, while offering an easy-to-maintain property and a price point that attracts a growing subset of younger, older, and single-parent suburban buyers.

Two homes share a typical alley lot on 50-foot-by-45-foot parcels, and a common motor court serves the hidden side-load garages. One house faces the street, the other faces a greenway behind it. The kitchens, with their wraparound bars, act as primary or secondary eating areas, and indoor-outdoor spaces fit together like a glove.

The second floor contains three bedrooms; the plan with two single-car garages offers the option of an additional bedroom over one of the garages

Woodley estimates the alley homes can be built for as little as $45 per square foot. Elevations are designed to appeal to young buyers, who don’t necessarily share the nostalgia for period styles. “The appearance of TVs, cars, phones, and commercial architecture is constantly being updated,” Woodley says. “Why not new homes?” The Modern Hill Country elevation features simple lines and a metal porch roof.

The Modern Prairie façade is contemporary without being funky.

The Modern Mountain–style’s jaunty rooflines are firmly rooted in the present.

Woodley’s triple-density scheme for standard 60-foot-by-100-foot lots includes private yards and shared motor courts serving one-car garages or carports. Lot lines shift to accommodate a green spine, and front doors can be oriented to the street or greenway.

Elevations show three homes on the right side of the greenway sidewalk that cuts between the lots. The Traditional elevation combines steep rooflines with glass that comes down to the floor.

The Contemporary’s rooflines could slant the other way to accommodate solar panels or capture sunlight.

The Regional, or Spanish, wood-and-stucco façade has clean arches and avoids overwrought ironwork.

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