Case Study: The Slope Home parcel, Hoquiam, WA

Case Study: The Slope Home parcel, Hoquiam, WA

The Slope Home parcel, located at 125 Wheeler Avenue in Hoquiam, WA, is a forested hillside property that has never been developed. With views of Grays Harbor and the neighborhood below, this trapezoidal property is steeply sloped on the wide East end and elevated above the street on the narrow West end. It presented a unique challenge for our team as we sought to determine if and how a home could be built on this difficult to access property.

Initial Situation

Photos of the Western access to the property from Adams street and Wheeler avenue utilizing an abandoned and undeveloped “Franklin Avenue” area © Tangible Places 2022

The property is surrounded by trees, making it difficult to access. The only feasible route for access is from a steep, 8-foot dirt embankment on an abandoned road located on the west side of the property. This makes it a challenging site for development, as the access road is in poor condition and the property is located on a slope. Despite these challenges, the property has the potential to be transformed into a distinctive place of beautiful and usable living spaces with the right design and development plan.

Photos of the Western tract views to the Southeast from within the property and unobstructed views of the town, from neighborhoods to  bridges. © Tangible Places 2022

Our Objectives 

Our objectives for the Slope Home parcel were twofold. First, we sought to identify the strategic opportunities within the residential zoning code by defining minimum viable experiences that can reduce onsite construction costs and disturbances to the neighborhood. We developed a strategy of designing quality shop-fabricated panels (walls, floors, and roof) that can be hand-carried from a delivery vehicle to the sites of a cube-shaped house, guest house, garage, and pavilion. Second, we sought to control the flow of rainwater in safe and pleasing ways with shed roofs and decorative water garden elements.

To determine if our objectives were viable, we worked closely with city officials and our civil engineer to assess the property and develop a design that met the necessary requirements. We determined that the design was viable and set about bringing it to life.

Axonometric view from the Southwest of the Slope Home design © Tangible Places 2022

Our Solution

Our solution for the Slope Home parcel involved building a storage shed and clearing paths to access all areas of the property. This allowed us to begin the process of regular site maintenance and conduct detailed surveys of tree locations and to design, engineer, and prepare the necessary site planning and infrastructure for the cube-shaped house, guest house, garage, and pavilion.

West and East exterior elevations of the Slope Home design ©Tangible Places 2022

We prepared site elevations from all cardinal directions and multiple experiential perspective views within the residential grounds (exteriors and interiors), and sketched a modular pattern of concrete retaining walls. A licensed appraiser evaluated this driveway land, as required by the City Council.

The small extension of land authorized to purchase from the city is intended to be used as the driveway for vehicular access to the property. We prepared initial designs and engineering considerations from this area to focus at first. 

This land has a few trees on it, so care must be taken during the construction process to minimize the impact on the environment. A detailed elevated survey is planned to ensure precision and safety for neighbors during the construction. This will help to ensure that the driveway is properly designed and built to meet the needs of site owner and the surrounding community.

We built a sheet metal storage shed to serve a specific purpose on the property. The shed was designed to provide a dedicated space for storing site maintenance tools and other equipment, as well as a place for workers to spend time out of the rain. The process of building the shed involved careful planning and attention to detail. We surveyed the site to determine the best location for the shed, and prepared the ground for construction by leveling and compacting the soil. The shed was constructed using high-quality sheet metal, which makes it durable and long-lasting. The shed is capable of storing a variety of tools and equipment, and it has ample space for workers to move around freely. Overall, the shed has proven to be an invaluable asset on the property, providing a dry and secure location to store tools and equipment, and a safe and comfortable place for workers to take breaks from the weather.

Designer’s rendered view at ground level at the pavilion to the NorthEast of the Slope Home design featuring the guest house ADU ©Tangible Places 2022

Designer’s rendered view from staircase within the guest house ADU of the Slope Home design ©Tangible Places 2022

The modular modern guest house studio we designed to be built offers a unique and flexible living space, with an emphasis on natural light and connection to the surrounding forested property. The interior of the guest house is open and airy, here shown with a view into the loft and ample clerestory lighting that floods the space with natural light. The post and beam structure for the shed roof allows for uninterrupted clerestory lighting, creating a sense of spaciousness and connection to the outdoors. The thin windows were strategically placed to provide minimal vignette views of the forested property, while allowing for curtains or automated shutters to enable privacy when needed. The guest house is designed to be a cozy, yet modern space that offers a comfortable and private retreat for guests, while also allowing them to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding property.

This parcel is listed for sale

We are proud to announce that the Slope Home parcel is now for sale. If you are interested in this unique property and would like to learn more, please contact our real estate agent at the link provided below. With its breathtaking views, unique qualities, and detailed feasibility analysis, this property is sure to inspire.

View listing to inquire further


The expansive view of moderately vegetated temperate rainforest from the site is truly breathtaking. Site analysis was conducted to fully understand the natural characteristics of the property and to identify the best locations for building. Site plans were created with an intentional focus on how to use and dwell on the site in a way that is harmonious with the natural surroundings. We collected our thoughts and analysis of the site, and developed a plan for easy implementation, utilizing innovative modern site structures and residential technologies.

Schematic Site Plan of the Slope Home design ©Tangible Places 2022

Satellite view of the site in summer. 

The land is still mostly undeveloped, providing a blank canvas for the next owner to shape their vision in concert with the natural qualities of several buildable places within the site. The property is truly a unique and special place, with the potential to be transformed into a beautiful and sustainable place for living that is in harmony with the natural environment and the neighborhood community visible below.

View listing to inquire further

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