Title:
Multi-tenant dwelling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In one aspect of the invention, a multi-tenant dwelling creates the illusion of a single tenant dwelling when viewed from an associated thoroughfare. In one embodiment, the dwelling includes a generally T-shaped structure with three discrete units, each having a separate exterior walk-through entrance. Preferably, only one of these entrances is in the front facade and fully exposed to the thoroughfare (or rather, two of the entrances are obscured), which thus gives the appearance of a single tenant structure when in fact the dwelling is adapted for simultaneously housing three different tenants. In addition to a subdivision comprised of many such dwellings, plans, instructions, methods, and kits for forming such a dwelling are also disclosed, as is a dwelling in which two generally perpendicular upstanding interior walls together separate three discrete living units.



Inventors:
Walters Jr., John W. (Lexington, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/100952
Publication Date:
09/15/2005
Filing Date:
04/06/2005
Assignee:
WALTERS JOHN W.JR.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/346; E04B7/16; (IPC1-7): E04B1/346; E04B7/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KING & SCHICKLI, PLLC (LEXINGTON, KY, US)
Claims:
1. A multi-tenant dwelling, comprising: a first unit having a first exterior walk-through entrance; a second unit having a second exterior walk-through entrance; a third unit having a third exterior walk-through entrance; wherein the strategic positioning of the first, second, and third exterior entrances creates a visual illusion of a single-tenant dwelling.

2. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein only one entrance is visible from a vantage point taken along a generally horizontal straight line touching or intersecting all three units.

3. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein a first generally vertical wall is common to the first, second, and third units.

4. The dwelling of claim 3, wherein a second generally vertical wall is common to the second and third units.

5. The dwelling of claim 4, wherein the first and second common walls are generally perpendicular.

6. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein the first, second, and third units form a T-shaped structure.

7. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein each of the first, second, and third units includes an interior area selected from the group consisting of a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a garage.

8. The dwelling of claim 1, further including a porch touching the ground associated with each of the first, second, and third entrances, wherein each porch is obscured from the other.

9. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein the first unit includes means for creating the illusion of the single-tenant dwelling.

10. The dwelling of claim 1, wherein the second and third units are mirror images of each other.

11. A subdivision including a plurality of dwellings of claim 1.

12. A method of providing living quarters for human occupants, comprising the step of constructing the dwelling of claim 1.

13. A kit including instructions or plans for constructing the dwelling of claim 1.

14. A multi-tenant dwelling adjacent a thoroughfare, comprising: a first unit having a first exterior walk-through entrance; a second unit connected to the first unit and having a second exterior walk-though entrance; and a third unit connected to either the first or second unit and having a third exterior walk-through entrance; wherein only one of the entrances is formed in a front facade of the dwelling adjacent the thoroughfare.

15. The dwelling of claim 14, wherein only the first entrance is visible from a vantage point along or between first and second rays extending toward the thoroughfare, said rays being generally parallel each other and the ground.

16. The dwelling of claim 15, wherein the first unit includes a garage at least partially visible from the vantage point, said garage having a door and an associated driveway connected to the thoroughfare.

17. A multi-tenant dwelling including two generally perpendicular upstanding interior walls that together define three separate living units, each living unit having a corresponding exterior walk-through entrance formed in an outer wall of the dwelling.

18. The dwelling according to claim 17, wherein each living unit includes a bathroom.

19. The dwelling of claim 17, wherein only one of the entrances is formed in a front facade of the dwelling.

20. The dwelling of claim 17, wherein each entrance includes a hinged door.

21. The dwelling of claim 17, wherein each entrance faces a different direction.

22. The dwelling of claim 17, wherein a first of the upstanding interior walls is generally parallel to a front facade of the dwelling.

23. The dwelling of claim 17, wherein a first upstanding interior wall contacts first and second outer walls of the dwelling and a second upstanding interior wall contacts the first interior wall and a third outer wall of the dwelling.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/560,126, filed Apr. 7, 2004, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

COPYRIGHT STATEMENT

A portion of the disclosure of this document contains material subject to copyright protection. No objection is made to the facsimile reproduction of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but any and all rights in the copyright(s) are otherwise reserved.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to dwellings and, in particular, the physical arrangement of three residential living units in a single dwelling or structure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A diversity of housing types in a single neighborhood is one of the key components used by community planners to deal with the problem of urban sprawl. However, mixing housing types by adding multi-family structures in close proximity to traditional single family neighborhoods is often met with strong resistance from surrounding residents who fear that the ubiquitous design of most multi-family dwellings will destroy the character of the adjacent neighborhoods. This has created a widespread problem for urban planners, builders and land developers seeking to provide multi-unit dwellings, not only in terms of providing a needed housing type, but also in using a parcel of land in the most efficient and desirable manner to maximize the investment yield and tax consequences of ownership (which may not necessarily be accomplished with a single tenant dwelling).

Multi-unit, single building residential structures have traditionally been developed in two ways. The first is vertically stacked units—a high rise—as is provided in U.S. Pat. No. 6,405,496 to Stewart et al. The second method of building a multi-unit structure arranging the units in a side-by-side configuration to form a row. A common example of this configuration is a town home or duplex design where pairs of units are attached by a single common wall aligned approximately perpendicular to the street at the front of the unit. Examples of this type of structure are provided in U.S. Pat. No. 4,942,706 to Todd et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,469,673 to Raynor et al. Other, more unique “horizontal” arrangements of units including a U-shaped configuration of six horizontally connected units, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,345,407 to Fishman and the cruciform dwelling structure disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,800,692 to Jenn.

A common feature of the traditional town home arrangement and of the above disclosed configurations is two or more separate entrances fully exposed to the curb and adjacent thoroughfare. Even when of the utmost building quality, dwellings with multiple entry facades are considered to lack “curbside appeal” and are perceived by surrounding single family residents to detract from the character of the area.

Accordingly, a need is identified for a multi-tenant dwelling that overcomes the foregoing limitations and others.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the invention, this need is at least partly addressed by a multi-tenant dwelling that creates a visual illusion of a single tenant dwelling when viewed from an associated or adjacent thoroughfare. In particular, the dwelling is generally T-shaped building structure, with one upstanding wall common to three distinct dwellings or units, each having a separate exterior walk-through entrance. Only one of these entrances is in the front facade and fully exposed to the thoroughfare (or rather, two of the entrances are obscured). Advantageously, this provides the illusion of a single tenant structure when in fact the dwelling is adapted for simultaneously housing different tenants.

In addition to a subdivision comprised of a plurality of such dwellings, other aspects of the invention include plans, instructions, methods, and kits for forming one or more of the dwellings, as well as for forming a multi-tenant dwelling in which three discrete living units are separated or defined by two generally perpendicular upstanding interior walls. As a result, all three units may have access to natural light from three exterior sides.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a dwelling forming one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the dwelling of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of two of the dwellings of FIG. 1 positioned side-by-side with at least one common driveway;

FIG. 4a illustrates a possible subdivision including one or more of the dwellings shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4b illustrates another possible subdivision including one or more of the dwellings shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is now made to FIGS. 1-3, which illustrate in detail the multi-tenant dwelling 10 forming one aspect of the invention. With reference to the front elevational view of FIG. 1, the dwelling 10 is a single or sole, entirely self-contained building with a front face or facade F1 having only a single exterior walk-through entrance E1. As can be appreciated, this advantageously creates an illusion of a single tenant dwelling when viewed from the adjacent curb of an associated thoroughfare or street S extending at least partially along the corresponding facade F1 of the dwelling 10.

With reference to FIG. 2, an exemplary embodiment of the dwelling 10 is illustrated in plan view. In this embodiment, the dwelling 10 is unitary with three separate and distinct but physically connected living spaces or units U1, U2, and U3. Preferably, each space or unit U1, U2, and U3 is designed for occupation by a different tenant (typically either an individual, couple, or family). Accordingly, each unit U1, U2, and U3 may include a plurality of distinct areas, or rooms, of the type that would normally be found in living space, such as for example a kitchen, a dining room, at least one bedroom, a bathroom, and a garage having a door and associated driveway in communication with the street. The number, particular types, and configuration of the areas or rooms provided in each unit is considered unimportant and may be varied as necessary or desired to suit a particular desire or need (as well as any limits on the available square footage, which may require limiting the size or eliminating altogether “luxury” areas, including the garage).

As can be appreciated from FIG. 2, one of the units, such as the first unit U1, is closer to the adjacent thoroughfare or street S than the others in this embodiment. This first unit U1 also includes the facade F1 and associated exterior entrance E1, which preferably is at ground level L (see FIG. 1) and faces or is otherwise fully exposed to the street S (and is thus considered the “front” entrance). This front entrance E1 may comprise the typical single entry, framed doorway having one or more hinged doors (not shown). “Ground level” in context is used to mean that the entrance is accessible from the surface of the earth and is contrasted from an entrance associated with a self-contained elevated patio, porch, or the like structure accessible from only within a building.

The other two units U2, U3 of the dwelling 10 also include separate, exterior, walk-through entrances E2, E3 on different facades F2, F3 and preferably at or near ground level. These entrances E2, E3may be similar or identical in design to the first entrance E1, but of course are for primary use by the different tenants or occupants simultaneously living in the dwelling 10. These entrances E2, E3 are thus discrete from the entrance E1 of the first unit U1 and, despite being generally “behind” the front facade F1 of the first unit U1, may either face in the same direction as the associated entrance (FIG. 2) or in a different direction (not shown).

In either case, only the single front entrance E1 of the first unit U1 is generally exposed to the view of a passerby on the adjacent thoroughfare or street S, including from a vantage point V situated along or between imaginary parallel rays extending from the outermost upstanding or vertical sidewalls O1, O2of the first unit and oriented generally parallel to the ground or a corresponding horizontal plane (note lines R1 and R2 representing rays, which are also generally perpendicular to a direction of travel D on the adjacent thoroughfare S, as well as a longitudinal dimension M of the sidewalls O1, O2). Since the other entrances E2, E3 are also substantially shielded from this vantage point V, the illusion of a single tenant dwelling results, even though multiple tenants can simultaneously occupy the structure and live entirely independent of each other. The arrangement or positioning of entrances E1, E2, and E3 thus qualifies as a means for creating the desired illusion of a single-tenant dwelling.

While the multi-tenant dwelling 10 of the invention may be arranged in different ways to achieve the foregoing result, a particularly efficient configuration is the one shown in FIG. 2 in which all three units U1, U2, and U3 share or are otherwise associated with a common interior wall W1. A second interior wall W2 extends generally perpendicular to this “first” common wall W1 to form a “T”. The second wall W2 is thus common to two of the units U2 and U3. The interior walls W1, W2 thus divide the interior living space created by the outer walls of the dwelling 10 into the three discrete units U1, U2, and U3, and thus are considered to “define” or separate them from one another.

As an example, the resulting dwelling 10 may be generally T-shaped in plan view, with the first unit U1 again situated nearer the street S than the other two units U2, and U3 (which are thus behind the first unit, and as shown may be mirror images of one another or otherwise symmetrical about an axis of symmetry A aligned with the second wall W2). This axis A may also be considered a generally horizontal straight line that intersects or touches all three units and the vantage point V from which only one of the entrances E1, E2, or E3 is visible (as does axis A2 with alternate vantage point V2). An added advantage of this T-shaped configuration of interior walls W1, W2 is that all three units U1, U2, and U3 may have access to natural light from three exterior sides when arranged in this fashion.

In this exemplary configuration, the second exterior entrance E2 is thus substantially obscured from the adjacent thoroughfare or street S by an extension or wing T1 of the first unit U1. The third entrance E3 is similarly substantially obscured by a second extension of wing T2. Together, these wings T1, T2 help to shield the occupants of the “rear” units U2 and U3 from any concomitant traffic and commotion associated with the thoroughfare S, and qualify as another means for creating the illusion of a single tenant dwelling.

Each separate exterior entrance E1, E2, and E3 may also include a separate patio or porch P1, P2, and P3, preferably at or near ground-level L (see FIG. 1) or otherwise touching the ground. An advantage of the T-shaped dwelling 10 described above is that a person occupying any one of the porches P1, P2, and P3 is unable to see another porch associated with the same dwelling. This creates a level of privacy not typically found in the usual multi-tenant dwelling with side-by-side units having entrances with porches fully or even partially exposed to each other as well as the adjacent thoroughfare. However, such could also be achieved using a different shape of structure (e.g., an H-shaped or I-shaped building with a T-shaped common wall).

FIG. 3 illustrates the manner in which two adjacent dwellings 10a, 10b could be positioned relative to an adjacent thoroughfare or street S. Each dwelling 10a, 10b shown is generally T-shaped as described above, and includes a forward first unit U1 and two rear or remote units U2 and U3. In this embodiment, at least two of the garages G1 and G2 share a common driveway Y1. The other two garages (commonly labeled G for the sake of convenience) associated each other unit may also share a common driveway Y2 and Y3 associated with each dwelling 10a, 10b. The door of at least one of the garages (such as the one associated with the first unit U1) may face the adjacent thoroughfare or be visible from the vantage point V without in any way destroying the illusion of a single-tenant dwelling, since such a dwelling often has a front-facing garage.

With reference to FIGS. 4a and 4b, two different neighborhood subdivisions 100 including a plurality of the multi-tenant dwellings 10, all preferably of the type described above, are shown. Each dwelling 10 may be associated with a single plot of land, or “lot,” in the subdivision, or alternatively may occupy multiple lots depending on the particular layout utilized. As should be appreciated, an observer standing on or traveling along the thoroughfare or street S in the subdivision 100 shown in FIG. 4a would see a plurality of illusory single tenant dwellings, even though each is actually a multi-tenant dwelling 10 with two of the exterior entrances simply obscured from view.

Consequently, the appearance of multi-tenant dwellings with multiple exterior entrances along the same facade fully exposed to the adjacent thoroughfare or street would thus be avoided, which makes this type of subdivision 100 more apt to include single tenant dwellings. Even if not all multi-tenant dwellings 10 present comply with the preferred orientation on the lot such that a vertical plane parallel to the front facade F1 is generally parallel to the direction of travel D on the adjacent street S (such as in the zone Z identified at the lower right hand side of the FIG. 4b), it is also the case that the preferred T-shaped dwelling still provides a highly efficient building structure better able to accommodate three separate tenants than those previously known.

FIGS. 1-4 are also considered to serve as instructions or plans for constructing the various dwellings 10 described herein, as well as to create a subdivision 100 comprised of a plurality of these dwellings (either identical or not).

The foregoing descriptions of various embodiments of the invention are provided for purposes of illustration, and are not intended to be exhaustive or limiting. Modifications or variations are also possible in light of the above teachings. For example, instead of a T-shape, the dwelling could be arranged with three separate, in-line units, with only one having an exterior entrance exposed to view from an adjacent street or thoroughfare. The entrances of the other two units could face the same direction or different directions, but only one is preferably in the front facade of the dwelling 10 and visible from the vantage point V (including along a line intersecting this vantage point and all three units). Likewise, the T-shaped “triplex” illustrated shown clearly has enhanced efficiency, even if the entrance E1 of the first or forward unit U1 is not the only one exposed to an adjacent street S or thoroughfare. Although a single story dwelling 10 is shown, it may of course have any number of stories without departing from the inventions disclosed herein. The embodiments described above were chosen to provide the best application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the disclosed inventions in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention.