Glass Box in the Forest
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BUILD gets transparent with some technicalities and design moves of a recently completed project.
[All photos by BUILD LLC]
There’s something comforting about a home nestled into the forest; when situated just right, it feels like it belongs there. BUILD recently completed a home 10 miles east of Seattle in Beaux Arts Village that creates that feeling of harmony between modern design and nature.
Two intersecting grids form the overall footprint of the home. A re-appropriated foundation from the previous house provides the base for the common areas of the new house which include the kitchen, dining room and living room. More info on the grids here. Because the surrounding forest provides ample privacy, the living room is enclosed with a clear anodized aluminum floor to ceiling glazing package by Marlin Windows.
A strong relationship between the interior and exterior is developed with a spectacular 22 foot wide, eight panel, aluminum accordion door package by La Cantina. A single panel of the accordion composition can be used for day to day passage, but when the weather cooperates, the entire span can be opened up. Free of any columns, it allows the living room to fully open up to the adjacent deck.
Above the lower band of windows and doors is a light shelf which protects the door and window packages from the elements. It also provides an excellent location for lighting at the deck, it lends a sense of scale to the elevation of the home and it provides additional indirect natural daylight to the living room. More technical information about the light shelf can be found here.
The siding around the glazing and accordion doors is finished with rainscreen panels painted to match the adjacent aluminum. This envelope treatment differentiates the punched openings at the siding from the full height glazing at the living room.
Outside, a generous ipe deck sits just a few steps above the yard. The deck is high enough to allow a panorama of the surrounding landscape, but low enough to be exempt from the requirement of guardrails — a feature that would have interrupted the connection with the surrounding forest.
Any successful project of ours can be directly linked to exceptional clients willing to go on the adventure of architecture with us (we’re already missing our travel partners since this project’s completion). We’re looking forward to watching an exceptional little family grow up in this home and continue to invite the neighbor kids over for popsicles on the deck.
Cheers from Team BUILD