Location: Seattle

Theme: Design/Build

Partner(s): Mithun, LIHI, Heirloom Quality Modern

Lead: Sam Schultz

Named after one of the composer’s most notable works, the Vivaldi House was designed to be a safe and cozy space for all four seasons. The group of 12 Franklin High School students worked with architects from Mithun throughout the fall to design this home, taking into consideration their client, a person experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Reconvening in the spring for the build retreat, the students, Sawhorse volunteers and our builder leaders with Heirloom Quality Modern, framed all four walls and floor in only one weekend. Most of the students had never picked up a hammer before, not to mention a power tool! The weekend provided space for each participant to patiently wrap their brain around the art of framing, understand how to safely use tools and take in the rainy, yet peaceful setting of Smoke Farm. The remainder of the builds, starting with assembly, resumed at Franklin. Each Wednesday after school for 8 weeks, students, builders and Sawhorse staff gathered to progress the Vivaldi House. The students were thrilled to work on the roof, perfect the spacing of the horizontal cedar exterior cladding and watch their design come to life.

completed vivaldi house

The students told us that they would look out of the windows during school to the lawn where the build was taking place and look forward to getting sawdusty after class. At the final celebration, we shared the preliminary renderings with our guests to show how the project had transformed. Most notably, the contrasting cedar and maroon standing seam carried through just as the group had intended!

From this program alone, 3 students entered into our Student Ambassador program. The Vivaldi House was completed and placed in a village in 2018. This house also contributed to our goal of completing 10 tiny houses in 10 months.