Architects: Zervas Group Architects
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Structural Engineer: BTL Engineering, Eric Dann
Site Area: 120 Acres
House Area: 2,500 SF
Owners: Howard and Judy Holz
Photographs: Doug Scott
The 2 bedroom home is situated in the middle of an expansive cow pasture on the edge of a knoll that rises gently from the south and drops abruptly to the north. The living spaces are all located on one level with the garage below, partially buried and hidden from view. The home is approached from the south via a long gravel driveway through the field to a covered walkway which leads to the main entry and the central great room. Three massive basalt rocks greet you upon entry, providing a visual break between foyer and living room.
The view from the house is to the north across neighboring fields to the Pacific coast range of Canada. The main body of the house flares out and up with large expanses of glass reaching for the scenery beyond. The central volume is flanked by low slung cedar clad boxes with timber frame pavilions book ending the composition. The roof of the garage provides and outdoor patio space adjacent to the kitchen. On the other end, the master bedroom has direct access to an outdoor room and fireplace.
While the home’s forms are modern and abstract, the construction was akin to a traditional barn raising. The bulk of the construction was handled by Howard Holz and his two cousins, John and Jim. The metal work was done by another cousin, Harold. High school friend Dave Wiggins of Cowden Gravel & Ready Mix poured the radiant concrete floors, garage basement walls and retaining walls.
Another friend, Svein Nilsen of Viking Masonry laid the stone. Howard also built all the cabinetry and shelving, a number of furniture pieces including the dining table and chairs as well a wood sink and bathtub. Last but not least, Judy, a painter and weaver, oversaw the interior design, colors and finishes that tie it all together. The result is a contemporary vision in the rural landscape.