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Lakeside ADU
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

The original workshop/storage/garage building (below) was built by the owner's grandfather in the early 1900s, on the north shore of Lake Mendota (the largest of Madison's four lakes). A new lake house followed mid-century (not shown).

A After generations of memories at the property, the original building was in need of some caring rehabilitation. When the change in Madison's zoning codes allowed for an ADU (accessory dwelling unit), the owners recognized the opportunity to realize a long-awaited dream of a living unit for family members who would need it.

(under construction, left)
A storage shed connecting shop and garage is removed, the two remaining parts of the building are up on blocks, and foundations are being poured for a new one-and-a-half story living space.

Special care was taken throughout to protect nearby Indian mounds.


Before (above) and after (below). At 698 total sq.ft. (±65 sq.meters — just under Madison's 700 sq.ft. limit on ADUs) the new living space is modest, but with its lofted space, efficient layout, and big views, it seems much larger.
The lower level studio layout provides room for a small dining room table, a stacked washer and dryer, as well as a piano. The loft is large enough for 2 rows of closets and a king size bed, and provides views thru the trees over the lake house and out across Lake Mendota.
Renovation to the existing portions preserves the character of the original building. The natural cedar shingles on the addition match those of the lake house below.