Strong and site-sensitive – Washington State

After living in a large home with a manicured landscape for several years, the homeowners were ready to inhabit a more intimate space with a strong connection to trees, bay views, and the land itself. One of the owners, originally from Switzerland, requested the design reflect elements of Swiss style, combining modern inferences with classic structural elements, craftsmanship, and pointed attention to detail. Seattle-based Christopher Wright Architecture and Gary Henderson Interiors created a strong yet site-sensitive home elevated just above the land to preserve the trees. Given only a small section of land on which construction was permitted, and with a desire to keep intact several large cedar trees, the home was sited very close to those trees–so close that digging a traditional foundation would have disturbed root systems.
Furthering the connection to nature, the home was intentionally conceived as a single level; sinking into the texture of the landscape, the home sits lightly, becoming obvious only upon approach. In addition to a large European-inspired, sleek-yet-rustic kitchen with an informal adjacent space for dining, the owners requested spaces to watch television and to sit by the fire, a sunny nook for lounging, and an outdoor area to view the sunset over Port Susan.
Throughout, real materials are celebrated for what they are, used in a way that is made practical by their natural characteristics; each beam is a structural element, concrete grounds the house onto the site at the central fireplace, and cedar clads the entire home, inside and out. Christopher Wright Architecture not only incorporated the client’s program, but melded the aesthetic needs of client, site, and surroundings to create a deliberate place that will last –alongside the trees that ground it– for generations to come.

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