“A celebration of craft, in a very small, simple, inexpensive and straightforwardly detailed building.”
Designed for a retired couple, this house stretches along a narrow sloping site, pitching towards views of an arboretum and the distant Cascade Mountains. It is positioned to preserve two major trees, a madrona and a large deodar cedar. Built as a Pacific Northwest version of a Case Study House, it reveals the particular nature of its site, its owners and the materials with which it is made.
The owners are a retired software developer-turned-botanist and a mental health chaplain. They were particularly enthusiastic in encouraging an architecture that reveals the nature and assembly of its basic building materials, including standard wood framing, plywood, polycarbonate sheets, concrete, steel and glass.
A spine of steel channels and columns extends the entire length of the house, projecting through its face to support two private decks. Wood studs are often left exposed or are revealed behind plywood panels. Screens of cedar framing and polycarbonate glazing stretch along the edges of the carport, extending into the building. Along with the steel spine, these screens guide you inside and through to the long views. A tracery of horizontal flashing-bands and fasteners delicately pattern the house’s exterior.