The exterior retaining walls and portions of the east elevation are clad in a "coursed rubble" stone veneer using a dry stack look, enhancing the natural beauty of the stone. Stone lintels, steps, and pavers were cut from granite slabs. Due to the salt water exposure, we chose Alaskan yellow cedar for exterior siding, windows, and doors. This wood is used in the marine industry due to its natural resistance to decay. Milled custom for this project, a flush, smooth surface was achieved with the tongue and groove siding. Portions of the exterior walls are also clad with horizontal wood slats creating a modified rain screen wall; the slats accentuate the horizontality of the house and are painted to match the color of the bark of the numerous Madrona trees on the property. The roof features a standing seam metal, cladding an asymmetrically gabled roof that corresponds to the circulation spine through the house.
The interior is finished predominantly using American cherry and Alaskan yellow cedar. Floors, lower wall panels, and base cabinets are surfaced with cherry. From the window sill up, however, all walls and the vaulted ceiling are sheathed with cedar. The darker, rich red and brown tones of the cherry visually lower the sill height of the windows while the light tones of the cedar increase the sense of volume of the main spaces.
Entry to the home is from the east via a footbridge leading from the parking area to the front door on the main level where we located the living spaces and the master suite. The lower level accommodates two guest bedrooms, a bath, and the workshop/storage area. In the entry, a ten foot high window above the lower level stair landing affords expansive views across Sequim Bay. To the right are the living and dining areas while to the left are the kitchen and sitting areas. All these spaces have views to Sequim Bay through a continuous band of windows and doors. Whereas the main floor is divided by the stairs, the vaulted ceiling, clad in Alaskan yellow cedar, is continuous. To accentuate the openness, walls and structural tie beams were avoided. Both the west and east walls are lined with casework for general storage, books, and art pieces. Beyond the living area is a passage leading to a separate volume containing the master bedroom and a small office.
Our clients requested natural materials such as wood and stone. Working with natural materials, we felt it was important to allow the quality of the material to come forward and to minimize the "visual noise" of any extraneous lines.
Located on high-bank waterfront overlooking Sequim Bay in Washington State, the Sequim Residence affords unobstructed views of the Olympic Mountains and the bay below. Whereas the site was magnificent, there were some challenging constraints, primarily a steep, diagonal slope across the property and an existing train caboose to be retained in its existing location. With a required 100 foot setback from the high bluff establishing the western boundary for the building site, the eastern boundary was established by the caboose. The unusual quality of the slope though was not its significant drop to the bluff, but its diagonal orientation, northeast to southwest, in relation to the side property lines. This site characteristic enables the dramatic impact of a 100 foot long house to be fully set into the hillside at the northeast corner whereas the southwest corner is over 30 feet above grade.
The plan requirements were simple and evolved from our client's desire to have an open living space in which they could prepare meals, relax, and entertain family and friends. Additional programmatic requirements called for three bedrooms, two and one-half baths, and a workshop/storage area. This resulted in a plan of approximately 2,500 square feet across two floors. Qualitative requirements were for all rooms to have views and abundant light, ready access to exterior terraces or decks, and the extensive use of natural materials. Our response was