Upper level expanses of glass are bordered with decks and walkways to provide easy access for window cleaning; these projections also provide sun protection from excessive solar gain during summer months. Edged with low-maintenance ceramic panels, the upper decks and walkways architecturally define the main living volume of the house. The white finish of the these panels contrasts with the weathered steel of the service volume and garage; the living volume is an elegant glass box elevated off its weathered steel base. The lower level terrace guardrail is clad in weathering steel, creating the solid plinth that grounds the house.
A large solar voltaic array on the roof provides power for the house and vehicle charging station; roof mounted solar hot water panels augment a high-efficiency heat pump heating system for the residence.
A bridge, adjacent to the garage, serves as the entry from Perkins Lane to the upper level of the house. This top floor comprises the main living space: living, dining, and kitchen areas. To the west, the living area opens onto a cantilevered deck overlooking Puget Sound. On the north side of the living area is the fireplace alcove and stair connecting the house's three levels. Down one floor, the master bedroom suite occupies the middle level. The master bedroom enjoys the southwesterly views; a home office, dressing area, and master bath complete the suite. The lower, ground level is comprised of two bedrooms, family room, and bath. The bedrooms and family room open onto an expansive terrace, providing access on-grade to the naturally landscaped, steeply sloping site.
Given the harsh coastal conditions and to minimize maintenance and maximize durability, the solid walls of the house and garage are clad in weathering steel.
Perkins Lane, in the Magnolia area of Seattle, is well known for stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains; the steeply sloping properties along Perkins Lane are also well known for their propensity for landslides. Building in a slide zone requires extensive consultation with geotechnical and structural engineers. The permitting process is lengthy and requires patience, as the City of Seattle takes its time to review development proposals along Perkins Lane.
The proposed design consists of two parallel, rectangular volumes. The larger of the two is a columnar structure with extensive glazing. This volume contains the living and bedroom areas that benefit from views and natural light. The smaller volume is conceived as a "thickened" wall protecting the home from northern winds and potential up-hill landslides. Virtually windowless, this narrower volume contains the main stair, fireplace alcoves, and service areas. The overall scheme is a direct response to the steep hillside site, client program, and competing view requirements.