Description by Vandeventer + Carlander Architects:
The site for this home is a steep slope corner lot in a prestigious neighborhood. Existing site conditions include neighbors to the west and north, a busy arterial below, and a residential street to the east. Though the existing residence was demolished, the previous daylight basement level and existing retaining walls established the datum for the new house.
The program required accommodating a family of six while serving as a platform for entertaining and displaying a growing collection of contemporary art. This dual need of accommodating family and art led to the concept of “served” and “service” zones as the organizational tool for the home’s design. Zoning of functions also permit art and children to live side by side, to be enriched by each other.
The home is comprised of four distinct elements: a glass enclosed main floor living area, a wood wrapped upper bedroom level, a steel sheathed “service” volume to the rear, and a cantilevered, stucco clad office. Fundamental to the concept of the house is a linear, light filled gallery that extends the length of the house. This space separates the “served” from “service” functions on all floors, both in plan and section.
The glass enclosed living area is developed as an open, loft space. Containing traditional entry, living, dining, and family room functions, this space open to patios and gardens on three fully glazed sides. The living area appears as a “void” juxtaposed against the mass of the other volumes.
Private, bedroom areas are defined by the Alaskan Yellow Cedar clad volume above the living area. Three glass bridges, crossing through the linear gallery, give access to the five bedrooms. The bridges and upper hallway provide multiple views of art displayed in the gallery space.
The “service” volume is a two-story enclosure housing the every-day needs of the family: specifically kitchen, mud room, bathrooms, closets, stair, and laundry. Wrapped in rusting steel sheets, the solid nature of the enclosure creates the backdrop to the open nature of the public areas.
The final element, the cantilevered office serves as a sculptural counterpoint to an otherwise rational plan.
Design Office: Vandeventer + Carlander Architects
Location: Seattle, Washington
Photographs: Ben Benschneider