Beautiful Residential Home Design #3

“The buildings recall the agricultural forms of the local built environment, but as is our nature in our designs, we sought to take that context and evolve it to a more emphatic modern language. We sought to design something that was exquisitely proportioned in a quiet, agricultural way.” –Tom Kundig

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This artist retreat, designed by Olson Kundig of Seattle, is located on 18 acres of rural agricultural property in Trout Lake, Washington just steps from White Salmon River. Both owners are artists who incorporate the natural landscape into their work – he is a painter and photographer, and she is a textile artist and designer. A key directive in the design of their new home was that it connect them to the surrounding landscape and maximize opportunities for indoor/outdoor living. It was also important for them to have studio space that was separate from the house, but related in form and materiality. All four buildings recall the forms of vernacular agricultural structures, and incorporate tough and low-maintenance building materials with minimal finishes such as concrete, plywood and steel. Wood siding on the main house was milled locally and weathered by the owners themselves. Corrugated metal roofing was also rusted by the owners.

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trout-lake-or-olson-kundig (11)The retreat contains four distinct buildings arranged in two groupings. The first grouping contains the main house, a woodworking shop, and a carport all contained under a single roof in a T-shape. A covered courtyard connects the three spaces in the middle of the “T”. A separate, free-standing artist studio is located just northeast of the main house, with a covered patio that connects to a guest room. Here, the owners work on their own projects, and occasionally host retreats and community-based arts workshops. In all four buildings, large bi-folding doors and sliding barn doors open up the spaces completely to the outdoors, allowing for the movement of large artworks and equipment, as well as an intimate connection with the environment.

trout-lake-or-olson-kundig (9)trout-lake-or-olson-kundig (8)The main house is minimal in form, consisting of a single double height volume with an open plan living, dining and kitchen area separated from a library by a double-sided fireplace. A set of hidden steel stairs nestled into the concrete fireplace lead to a loft above the library. The home’s single bedroom is located above the bathroom and mudroom and is accessed via a set of open stairs in the entry foyer. Two sets of 30-foot-long bi-fold doors in the main living space allow the home to open completely on both sides, maximizing the home’s sweeping views of the nearby river and Mount Adams.

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Site plan

18.04.03_14023_TroutLake_MainLevelPlan_-001Main Level

18.04.04_14023_TroutLake_SecondLevelPlan_18-03-30-001Second Level

Photography Jeremy Bitterman
Location: Trout Lake, Washington
Home is 6,594 sf

Beautiful Thoughts

Some days are easy going and good and somehow we arrive at the end of it a little wiser, happier, or maybe the same but unscathed.  Then there are days we question our very worth and sometimes we don’t even know or understand why we derailed off the happy train. It’s those days that we need the extra kindness of friends and strangers, a smile, an acknowledgement that you are seen and even valued. We need a beautiful sight, a flower, a tree, a child, a beautiful human, something funny, the water or the forest, or at least the memory of such.

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We need to give our smile to someone else because they may be feeling the same and need a little confirmation, a little love, too.  You can never know the complete affect your little act of kindness can have on the world. So today, as easy or as confusing as it may be, I choose to let the universe flow through me as a confirmation that life is beautiful. And,  I vow to let the people I love and the strangers I make eye contact with, feel valued and seen, and acknowledged. So I ask you to just smile at someone, make eye contact and say hi, you just never know!  Let’s be better humans!

Photo taken somewhere on Puget Sound between Kitsap and Seattle

Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpgThe office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpgThe company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpgThe challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpgThe architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

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A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpgThe social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

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Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Seattle on a Grey Day?

…maybe not so much. You know it’s a grey day when your photo doesn’t need a filter to convert from color to black and white. Here’s to more rainbows and, hopefully sooner than later, sunny days. The rain has to stop eventually, right?

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Beautiful Lavender

Every summer I visit the lavender farms in Sequim, Washington.
Everything is offered, dried flowers and leaves for sachet, small
bundles of the whole stem with flowers on them that will dry
naturally when placed in a vase or basket, soaps, lotions, and
essential oil for  bath, potpourri and sachets are just a few
of the uses. The farms have been there for many years and
visiting is like stepping back into an old world garden.

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Bless the bees who pollinate.

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“And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound
to lurk admist the labours of her loom,
and crown her kerchiefs witl mickle rare perfume.”
by William Shenstone The School Mistress 1742

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Did you know….

  • Lavender is a herb in the mint family.
  • Lavender is edible and can be used in cooking and making teas.
  • The benefits and use of lavender has been known for over 2,500 years.
  • In perfume, scented bath oils, and even mummification, the ancient
    Egyptians used lavender profusely.
  • Lavender in water can be used for cleaning floors and furniture.
    It is an excellent and aromatic cleaner which can be used for laundry also.
  • Nurses bathed the wounds of soldiers with a lavender wash, for its
    healing properties, during World War I.

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Lavender is edible

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Sugar the Westie loves walking the fields

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Beautiful Rugged Washington Coast

The beautiful ocean along the rugged Washington state coastline beaches is one place where nothing ever changes….which is a rare in a world where change never ceases. The constant gray, misty weather is as static as ever and the feeling of isolation is heavy. Years can pass between visits and it’s still the same, kind of like an old friend who never changes.