Alan Cohen’s commute used to take 20 to 25 minutes every morning. Now it takes 30 seconds, or however long it takes him to open and close the door that separates his architectural studio with his home.
Cohen used to live in a 3,000 square foot home, by himself, which he now thinks is “crazy”. Since studying architecture in the seventies he’d been an admirer of downtown living and live/work so he decided to put his ideas into play in his own life.
He bought a relatively-small 3,750 square foot lot in downtown Healdsburg, California (in Sonoma County’s wine country) and began to plan to bring all the elements of his life to one place.
Today, the lot houses 4,000 square feet of multi-use structures: a 1730-sq-ft home (less than 2/3rds the national average), a 1050 sq-ft office (that Cohen shares with a partner), his wife’s art studio and a garage (for constructing architectural models).
In this video, Cohen talks about cutting his carbon footprint by over 70% and he takes us for a tour of the space, complete with the roof deck where he eats breakfast instead of commuting in the morning and takes mid-day naps most weekdays.