Beaux Arts Residence

Bellevue, Washington

This suburban residence was designed to house a family of six while maintaining a sense of privacy in a dense, but quiet neighborhood. The land, which previously held a small cabin, was blessed with seven tall, magnificent Douglas Fir trees in a grassy field. With the main axis extending from the front door to the largest of the firs, the trees have become an integral element in the daily life of this family.

The residence itself was organized into two wings with a central gathering space between them.  The wings house the bedrooms, playroom, study and guest areas. The central gathering area, is a single volume, defined by a high ceiling and a transparent wall of vertical lift doors, opening onto the south-facing courtyard.

The wooden roof of this central space is supported by four slender steel columns.  This high “light” structure is juxtaposed with the lower, “heavy” brick wings.  This contrast of mass reinforces the nature of both materials, while viscerally delineating the differences between the public and private zones of the house.