This one story 1950’s “ranch” was inconsonant with the stately older homes surrounding it in this North Capitol Hill neighborhood. The clients, a renowned landscape architect and a political activist, needed a place where they could accommodate equally and simultaneously large extended family visits and social gatherings.
They are very attuned to the changing seasons in the Pacific Northwest, in particular the long dark winters and wanted it to be responsive to the annual rhythms. They needed a place that could adapt to them as they age. For economy it was necessary to take full advantage of the existing structure while giving it a completely new look. And finally the house needed to be unique and respective of the neighborhood at the same time.
The result is a light filled two story house with full basement. It is a balance of vigorous active and quiet meditative spaces. The main floor is configured as a “U” around a library allowing one owner to cook and entertain while the other relaxes in front of a wood burning stove. The spaces vary from a double height interlocking relationship between the main and upper floors to more quiet single height spaces all with exceptional light and a feeling of spaciousness and coziness as the space desires.The spaces are all universally designed. There is flexibility in the use of space at the ground floor so that, should that become the case, all needs can be met there.
The Owner has landscaped the tight urban corner lot with a dense wild forest. It has established a dynamic relationship between the interior and exterior that changes constantly with the seasons as the garden matures and turns and wildlife forages.
Rich Haag Associates
Bykonen, Carter, Quinn
Context Custom Builders Inc.