Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Architecture Wednesday: A Little Bit Retro, A Little Bit Modern, Too

Okay, so I'm still captivated by the more woodsy locales, but I'll get back to some urban architecture soon, I think. But this house grabbed me because it's got some hints of Frank Lloyd Wright working in it, and I am nothing if I am not a Wright Whore.
This house, located about 25 miles north of Seattle, is, or maybe a better word id 'was,' a 1950’s Northwest Contemporary house, until it was completely renovated, though it still maintains some of the Mid-Century Modern details. 
The original floor plan has been re-organized, with the main living and dining spaces slightly enlarged, and a new, high windows added to bring natural light to the entire space. There is a very spacious, light-filled master bedroom and bathroom, each space surrounded by glass and trees. 
The kitchen is modern, with touches of iron and glass, and a full wall of windows to take advantage of the scenery. In about half the house, the original hemlock ceiling, with exposed fir beams, has been retained, and there were new fir ceilings added to the rest of the house. The existing terrazzo flooring was re-finished, with new areas of terrazzo added in a complementary color.
I love the woodwork, and the built-ins, throughout the house, all crafted, primarily, of Cherry panels; some of which are smooth while others have been milled with a router to make a texture evocative of “woven wood.” 
A 30-foot long accent wall adjacent to the dining and kitchen areas has been clad entirely in weathered steel panels and the suspended casework on the steel wall utilizes either resin panels with natural grasses or textured cherry wood, both materials set against the variegated umber colors of the steel.
The house, redesigned by Finne Architects, pursued the idea of “crafted modernism,” the enrichment of a modernist aesthetic with highly personal, crafted materials and objects. Custom fabrications included the cast-glass kitchen counter, steel wall panels, suspended steel mirror frames, laser-cut steel shade valences, custom steel lighting bars, hand-blown glass light fixtures, and a number of custom furniture pieces. 
The glass wall between the master bedroom and master bathroom has been transformed with the use of a hand-drawn pattern in etched glass, with the pattern being more dense at the bottom--for a sense of privacy--and increasingly transparent at the top.
Sustainable design practices were integral to the project from the start with radiant heating beneath the terrazzo flooring, high, clerestory windows to bring natural light all the way into the house and motorized operators that allow for venting during summer months. 
Green materials, like the resin panels, quartz counters, linoleum, low VOC paint, and sustainable wood products, were also used in the project, but most of all this renovation completely brings in new ideas about housing and energy while still maintaining that sense of the 1950s.
I mean, if you want to live among the trees, shouldn't you be kind to them?


R.J. said...

The structure is a nice design but whoever decorated the place must have a phobia about using color. Everything's nearly the same shade of brown.

Beth said...

Yes, very Wright-esque. Beautiful!

Wonder Man said...

so dreamy