Studhorse Residence was designed as a four season family retreat by Olson Kundig Architects, situated in the remote Methow Valley, in Winthrop, Washington. Nestled in the North Cascades, the home is comprised of steel and reclaimed barn wood. The home was built with the client’s desire to experience and interact with the surrounding landscape. The compound consists of four separate and detached structures that encircles a central courtyard that houses a swimming pool. Each of the buildings is angled to take advantage of 360 degrees views and soak in dramatic features encompassing the home, such as the nearby Studhorse Ridge and Pearrygin Lake. Interior public spaces are comprised of a family room, kitchen and bar area, which are conglomerated into the main structure. In an adjacent structure are the private areas, comprised of the master bedroom suite, kids’ bedroom and den. A separate building houses the guest room, isolated from the rest of the buildings to allow for independent usage. There is a fourth building that frames a stunning view over the valley below, which houses a sauna.
This sensational home is a recipient of the 2015 housing awards, noted for its modest use of materials, such as “concrete flooring, concrete fireplace and OSB on the ceiling”. The jury liked that the home did not use historical references and was so different from the architecture that they have seen before. With the site plan being the center force, “the complex relations between the three parts is exciting but the courtyard locks it into place.”
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Photos: Architectural Digest / Benjamin Benschneider
Vashon Island House is a 1,750 square foot custom designed prefab cabin by Seattle architecture firm FabCab, located on Vashon Island, King County, Washington. The family cabin, built by Potential Energy, is comprised of two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a flex room/den, and a 300 square foot bump-out screened-in porch with a fireplace and wall of windows. The family enjoys speeding time together chilling in this amazing cabin, taking in the natural surroundings and watching the islands habitat wander by. The home also showcases a sweeping butterfly roof, enabling the structure to open towards the views in two directions. With extended roof overhangs and plenty of covered spaces, there are wonderful opportunities for indoor-outdoor living. Additional features to the home includes a children’s loft, an outdoor shower and a multi-panel folding door system.
The flooring throughout the home is polished concrete with radiant heat, with the added benefit of being able to use the controls from anywhere by way of an iPhone. The structural insulated panels (SIPs), along with energy-efficient windows, enabled the home to achieve three stars from Built Green, which is an environmental building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish counties.
Photos: Dale Lang
The Orcas Island Home is a contemporary prefab home design with 1,828 square feet of living space by FabCab, located on Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands, Washington. This two bedroom, two bathroom + den home home showcases major curb appeal with a reverse shed extension over the front door. The architects build eco-friendly homes, this particular one is their TimberCab home, which features Douglas Fir timberframes, including their premium level of finish. Their timeberframes and wall/roof panels have been pre-cut with state of the art technology and a licensed contractor labels the homes as an efficient build at the site. Their home packages are devised with flexibility in mind and can be shipped to most building sites.
The architects created a welcoming entryway into this rustic home, which opens to full on water views from across the room.
This beautiful open plan living room/kitchen/dining room offers a large expanse of windows to filter in plenty of natural light and offers spectacular water views. The home is nestled on a wooded landscape that helps to offer privacy and a welcoming country escape for the homeowners.
The porcelain tiling in the bathroom is from American Olean.
The beautiful furnishings featured on the deck were curated from Costco and Wayfair.
Photos: Dale Lang
Cycle House was recently designed for two avid bicyclists and their 18 bicycles by Chadbourne + Doss Architects, located in Seattle, Washington. The newly built 2,400 square foot residence is sited at the intersection of two major bike routes in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle. The lot is narrow, but has lake and mountain views to the east. The architects sought to craft an efficient custom residence that uniquely represents the owners’ personality and lifestyle.
Martin and Shelley, a very active couple, wanted a home that would not only have storage and maintenance space for their 18 bicycles, but would also facilitate entertaining, provide cozy nooks for reading and relaxing, and maintain a strong connection to the exterior.
They were very engaged in our design process, even providing us with scent vials meant to evoke sensibilities they wished to experience in their home- cool ocean, woody comfort, industrial, and balanced quiet/calm. They also gave us a metaphor of Iceland, which provided inspiration for a refined industrial, natural, and stark pallet of materials.
The Owners wanted a rugged house that incorporated both industrial and natural materials. The exterior is a composition of dark painted fiber cement siding that provides a neutral background for the natural cedar clad Great Room block. The interior is a contrast of black and white with natural cedar, plaster, and blackened steel accents.
The Main Floor is an open great room with Living, Dining, and Kitchen. Sliding glass doors provide wide openings to the expansive views of the lake and mountains. A Guest Bedroom, Bathroom, Pantry, Deck and Office are also located on this floor.
The Ground Floor houses the Garage, Entry, Bike Shop, and an Exercise Room/Office. The Bike Shop opens on to an enclosed Yard for washing and working on bikes.
The Upper Floor contains the Master Bedroom, Bath, and Laundry Room. A large roof deck is designed for entertaining, sheltered reading, and outdoor sleeping. The stair winds around an illuminated translucent wall.
The house is a backdrop for the natural materials within it and a frame to appreciate the natural environment surrounding it.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
Nahahum Canyon House is a two story hillside dwelling that has been designed by Balance Associates, located north of Cashmere in Nahahum Canyon, Washington. This 1,650 square foot residence is set into the hillside with concrete retaining walls that guide the form of the cabin.
The residence is set into the hillside with concrete retaining walls that guide the form of the cabin. Its east west longitudinal axis and generous overhangs are designed to take advantage of solar orientation while maintaining panoramic views.
The main entry is a two story room with full height glazing on the north and south walls that frame the most dramatic down-canyon view. An eastern oriented living space and kitchen occupy most of the main floor along with a powder room and utility area located within the hillside portion of the home.
The upper floor contains the master suite and guest bedroom/bathroom with a loft style flex space that opens up to the living room below.
Photos: Steve Keating Photography
The Madison Park House is the latest custom-spec house to be designed and built by architecture firm First Lamp, located in Seattle, Washington. Situated on an existing steep slope lot in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle the house grows out of the hillside and allows the main living space to float out amongst the trees. This 3,200 square foot, five bedroom house will be an energy star certified residence and is targeted to be 4-star built green.
Daunting and stubborn while also inspiring, the site was our true client . A handful of landslides had occurred here in past years, so this tucked-away location had been ignored or avoided until recently. After a series of site visits with our “ground team” (engineers, excavator, and foundation subcontractors), we came to understand two things: 1) That development here would actually increase the stability of the site and 2) It would therefore be an asset to the surrounding landscape and community.
During the design process we often used a tree as a metaphor for our design goals:
1.Sensitively Integrate Structure with Landscape and topography
2.Stabilize the hillside with a deep root system
3.Reduce storm water impact to the site and its surroundings.
In many ways, the design response to these goals is very literal. 54 Pin piles, 5 helical anchors, and 110 yards of concrete support the structure and retain the hillside. These are consolidated to the smallest feasible footprint, allowing the topography to surround and envelop the trunk of the house. The main living space is cantilevered from this base much the same way the branches of a tree reach for the sun. The siding is almost 100% cedar, charred to more closely reflect the deep ambient color under a grove of mature trees. The house is topped with almost 2000 square feet of living roof which acts as a filter, a sponge, and an aesthetic amenity for the residents.
Photos: Courtesy of First Lamp
Seattle Box Remodel project is a full house remodel of a 1902 traditional home brought up to date by architecture studio Board and Vellum, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Crisp white trim and dark floors along with built-in cabinetry and special details really tie the whole home together. The brightly colored 3,300 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom home helps contrast the dark Seattle days and works well with the adjacent homes which are also bright colors. Landscaping is a future project.
Seattle “Box” homes are prized for their stately appearance and generous floor plans. What isn’t often provided though is an easy way to convert these older homes into homes with generous and open living spaces. This project keeps the formal nature of the ‘three in a row’ formal rooms and opens the back of the house and the final room to the kitchen. An operable wall of glass helps connect the house to the yard and let light pour into the home. A centrally placed fireplace is viewable from all the main rooms in the house and helps anchor the entire plan. A wide galley kitchen opens towards the back of the house with an island facing the new family room. Careful design of the casework provides a clean and contemporary look while not looking out of place in a 1902 home.
A cozy front porch allows for a spot to watch the birds at the feeder.
The cozy front porch has a built-in ceiling heater to help socializing in the cool evenings.
The house borders a commercial district, so the owners felt they had a little more leeway to do something exuberant. The exterior is now painted in Benjamin Moore’s Douglas Fir, with Benjamin Moore’s Blushing Red for trim. After seeing the exuberant colors of the house next door, the architect saw this as an opportunity to turn the row into Seattle’s own version of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies.
A dutch entry door provides the option to have fresh air without dogs or children escaping out!
The Family Room has very tall ceilings so white wainscoting was used to visually lower the height of the room when seated around the new gas fireplace. Clean white display accents provide contrast without too much visual clutter.
The Family Room opens up to the Kitchen and a folding door out to the yard.
The Dining Room offsets the table into the bay windows to allow open circulation between the three main rooms.
A mid-century inspired light and bright colors help create a soothing color palette.
A custom dog crate lives behind this door which slides up on one side and opens on the other.
A custom dog crate lives here below a pantry and open shelves to the right allowing the dogs to look out in both directions.
The kitchen has a folding wall which opens to the small backyard.
The kitchen island serves as a buffer between the open Kitchen and Family Room.
Open shelves keep cookbooks and everyday tableware close at hand.
A custom library ladder works in the Kitchen and also the Living Room.
A recess in the island provides for a handy spot for the dog’s water bowl. A tip out cabinet above stores the dog food.
A simple and clean Laundry Room efficiently everything you need in a small footprint.
A small Powder Room is brightened by wallpaper and cleanly detailed walnut sink and mirror.
The Living, Dining, and Family Rooms open into each other and are trimmed by bright white trim for a fresh and dramatic appearance.
The upstairs hallway uses clean white trim to tie everything together.
Home Office uses walnut furniture to contrast with the blue walls.
The entrance to the Master Suite is painted all in white and detailed with crisp white trim.
Two smaller bedrooms were combined to create a generous Master Suite with a dressing area and built-in closets.
A custom magazine rack allows for storage in the Master’s Toilet Room.
Custom walnut vanity sits next to a wall of white Thassos marble and a double shower.
In the children’s bedroom, two doors were tied together with a built-in dresser and mirror.
Dubbed the Lego Lounge, the basement includes a bar, a media room, laundry, storage and a guest bedroom. The basement was completely renovated with ceilings that were only 6½ feet high. What’s more, you originally had to walk through a coat closet to access the basement stairs. The architect excavated the basement another 2½ feet, ending up with 9-foot ceilings and an inviting lair where the couple can entertain friends without disturbing their son when he’s sleeping in his bedroom two stories up. Although it can be a hassle lowering a basement floor the way the architect did, he ended up with an extra floor of living space without having to expand the home’s shell.
The basement bar uses space that would otherwise be empty square footage. A custom bar aligns with the stair treads and is the same wood and finish as the floors upstairs.
The custom bar uses every square foot to maximize entertaining. In the LEGO room beyond a custom table sits below the work area which can slide out and double the work space.
This bathroom features large scale glass tile in a more traditional subway pattern.
This traditional style bathroom uses White Thassos marble in a subway pattern along with white wainscoting to create a clean and fresh look.
The basement bedroom only has color on one wall to keep the focus on the bright white walls and trim to help brighten the basement space. A large window well helps reduce the stigma of high up basement windows.
Photos: John Wilbanks Photography
Prospect House is a result of celebrating a stunning Seattle panorama while accommodating a modest budget and a family with two young children, designed by Janof Architecture. The 5,663 square foot house honors the owner’s desire for a domestic refuge while maximizing the experience of its location.
We began with the domestic, and planted two gabled, bearing-wall “houses” deep into the hillside. These contain rooms requiring enclosure, and they give the house the conventional street facade that the neighborhood deserves. The steel-framed “glass box” occupies the view facade and sews the houses together. These simple parts, simply combined, create complex social and spatial relationships within the house.
The budget required basic construction using off-the-shelf parts. Rigorous but un-precious detailing followed. The greatest technical effort went into the design of the two-story window wall: residential wood windows assembled as a true curtain wall. The 19-foot-high dining room was designed for extraordinary nighttime views of the city.
The kitchen is a warm and functional space that utilizes custom walnut cabinetry, stainless steel, and extra-thick calacatta marble.
The breakfast area adjacent to the kitchen has an eclectic feel and commanding views of the city. The mural was created by the owners specifically for the space.
The delightful powder room of this house gets its charm from custom wallpaper designed by the owners.
The master bedroom has a top-of-the-world view that is made cozy by the inclusion of a fireplace and subtly concealed lighting.
The elegant master bath features callacatta carrera marble and polished nickel fittings.
The home office has a spectacular view; light is further introduced by the small dormer window above the desk.
The energy efficiency of the house was designed around the passive use of its southern orientation, with high-performance glass, cross-ventilating windows, and precisely calculated overhangs making air conditioning unnecessary this summer. The winter sun will bring warmth deep into the house, and the industrial-size fan above the dining room is designed to slowly move air throughout the house.
Sustainability was a constant topic. While the house meets Energy Star rating, much thought went into what sustainability really means. There is no bravura use of natural resources. Structural elements are sized at their calculated minimums. Precious materials were used sparingly, often where they would be touched by the user, and salvaged material was valued for its patina.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
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