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  5. Hutchison & Maul Architecture
  6. 2007
  7. Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture

Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture

  • 01:00 - 31 December, 2009
Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture
Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture, © Eduardo Calderon
© Eduardo Calderon

© Tom Hille © Eduardo Calderon ©  Alan Abramowitz © Eduardo Calderon +30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Mercer Island, WA, United States
  • Architects

    Hutchison & Maul Architecture
  • Design Team

    Robert Hutchison, Tom Maul, Joyce Puri
  • Interior Design

    Hutchison & Maul Architecture w/ Julie Petri
  • Landscape Architect

    Bruce Hinckley, Alchemie
  • Structural Engineer

    Jeff Albert
  • Mechanical Engineer

    Rainbow Consulting
  • Contractor

    EH Construction
  • Area

    623.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2007
  • Photographs

From the architect. The site is very steep, long and narrow – 50’ wide by 400’ long with an average slope of 35%. Located on the west side of Mercer Island, there are panoramic views west towards Seattle and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Zoning permitted construction on only 35’ of the 50’ property width, and limited the height of the building to 30’ relative to the slope of the site.

Exterior terraces and courtyards are carved into the sloping hillside to facilitate pedestrian circulation throughout the site; to provide natural light throughout the primary levels of the house; and to provide privacy from the neighboring properties. The house consists of two parts: a concrete plinth which contains utilitarian and less-used spaces; and a hovering wood volume above that contains the private functions of family bedrooms and bathrooms. The resulting space sandwiched between the wood structure and concrete plinth houses the primary living areas, bound by large expanses of glazing that afford views through the open level of the house to the Lake beyond.

©  Alan Abramowitz
© Alan Abramowitz

To access the house, one navigates through the series of excavated exterior terraces and stairways, across water features and bridges, then down another stairway, finally arriving at a small exterior glass-enclosed courtyard in the center of the residence. This entry sequence informed the shape of the wood volume as well as the placement and configuration of the concrete retaining walls. Horizontal wood siding assembled with members of alternating depth enhance the notions of texture, shadow and perspective; contrast with the smooth concrete site walls; and ultimately heighten the journey from driveway to center of house.

Cite: "Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture" 31 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/44999/courtyard-house-on-a-steep-site-hutchison-maul-architecture/>
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15 Comments

Eric Skiba · December 03, 2010

Nice Seattle Courtyard House http://tiny.cc/76fb2

Mark Bailey · April 20, 2010

Dream House of the day: Courtyard House on a Steep Site by Hutchison & Maul Architecture - http://ow.ly/1AvPp

Mark Bailey · April 19, 2010

Dream house of the Day: Courtyard House on a Steep Site by Hutchison & Maul Architecture - http://ow.ly/1z9bZ

E · January 11, 2010

and i love this house: http://bit.ly/4Xs1qq

Michael Baugus · January 05, 2010

Great solution to a steep and narrow lake site. Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture http://bit.ly/7lpDuj

Vladimir · January 04, 2010

#design "Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture" ???-?? ? ???? ????.. ??? ??? ??-?? ???? http://bit.ly/4Xs1qq

Andrew Fallshaw · January 03, 2010

I love architecture on steep sites. It gets way more creative: http://bit.ly/4y4V3N

Pierre Batbatian · January 02, 2010

gorgeous.... i love this blog lol

Matt · January 02, 2010

Absolutely brilliant

thomas foral · January 01, 2010

Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture | ArchDaily - http://shar.es/aUaNw

Michael · January 01, 2010

Attended a lecture by Tom Hille last year, he talked a little about this house.

Oliver · January 01, 2010

this is a brilliant house - really fantastic ... and exactly what I prefer ... love it!

DesignGraph · January 01, 2010
manuel martin · December 31, 2009

Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture http://bit.ly/7tD8aQ

gbh · December 31, 2009

Courtyard House on a Steep Site / Hutchison & Maul Architecture: © Eduardo CalderonArchitects: Hutchison &a.. http://bit.ly/7tD8aQ

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