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Wood Block Residence
This project is a major reconstruction of a classic 1962 residence originally designed by locally renowned architect, Fred Bassetti. Fronting a busy street, we wanted to root the house to its sloping wooded site and provide a protective shelter for family life. The plan is opened up allowing for large gathering spaces and perspectives throughout the full length of the house. A new metal skin with interior Western Red Cedar liner wraps a revised roof gesture and grounds the house to the site. An aluminum bar grating screen encloses an exterior patio and deck filtering interior views and forming a sparkling and diaphanous wall from the street. The entry approach is redesigned with a cantilevered concrete landing in a sunken courtyard and a 5’ x 11’ pivot door to the interior.

Western Red Cedar was selected to clad the existing painted Hemlock ceiling to bring an appropriately natural warmth to an otherwise modern pallet of materials- including aluminum, steel, and plaster. We were interested in the ability of thin tongue-and-grove cedar planks be installed in an extremely crisp manner between existing beams. The continuity of this contrasting material strengthens the new roof gesture of an interior/exterior plane that folds down to cap the ends of the residence. Cedar planks are continued down over the end walls on both floors to further reinforce this primary design move. Western Red Cedar was also used on the exterior decks, stained dark to continue the interior floor outside to the courtyard and exterior patio.
Building Team / Key Players: Lisa Chadbourne & Daren Doss
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Caption: entry and carport
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