Upside-Down House / Hutchison & Maul Architecture

Architecture: Hutchison & Maul Architecture
Location: Seattle, Washington,
Structural Engineer: Perbix Bykonen
Contractor: Raven DB
Project Area: 242 sqm
Project Year: 2008

floor plans

This residence for a couple and their two children utilizes the foundations and walls of an existing single-story post-war bungalow. The traditional placement of private spaces above public spaces is inverted, with bedrooms and bathrooms placed at the main floor level, while a new second story places the kitchen, living and dining spaces into one large communal room with views overlooking Cascade mountain range. A large operable skylight marks the center of the room.

Cite: "Upside-Down House / Hutchison & Maul Architecture" 09 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • senn


  • christopher

    please just wait until the job is finished to publish photos–the method of construction is not unique enough to warrant “process photos”. i wondered why everything looked so cheap and clunky, then i realized there was no casing on some of the doors & windows. and for the love of Pete, get the blue tarps out the way!

    sure sure–it’s about the ARCHITECTURE…but how you project your work to the rest of the world represents something about your firm’s attention to detail…at least finish getting dressed before you leave the house.

    • JRL

      Nobody likes Pete.

  • giorgio

    not very effective use of spce with lots of waste

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Upside-Down House.

  • Data J

    Agreed with Christopher. Please hire a professional photographer. Photographs that look like they were taken with a $100 camera makes the architecture look like $100.

  • roy

    simple yet serves the purpose. no need for those door casings which really doesn’t affect the efficiency of the spaces. not exactly the most essential part of the house. it doesnt look cheap. it’s just the basics. and the basics satisfied the user’s needs.

  • Audric

    It’s an interesting concept to place the main living space on top of the private spaces, but it doesn’t work very well in this context. I’d like to see the view from the master bedroom, as it seems to have a great view of the side of the neighbour’s house.

  • anavic

    I’d rather have good views from my living room (where I spend most of my time) and see a little piece of my garden right before I go to sleep. Why would you want to have beautiful views while you’re sleeping? If you had said something about the children, then maybe, because they spend a lot of time in their rooms, but it’s not like they appreciate the views so..

    I think that if the house satisfies the customer’s needs, we have nothing to say!

    The owners should say here what they think about the house they live in so that we could avoid useless comments.

    • christopher

      a building that simply “satisfies the customer’s needs” are a dime a dozen. we should be striving for more than that.

      otherwise, what is the point of the profession? we already have a hard enough time explaining to the general populace why design and architecture is important…if the client’s wanted their “requirements satisfied”, they should/could have done this themselves. I’ve seen better DIY renovations.

      Architecture that simply “satisfies the requirements” should be considered merely “satisfactory”. We come here to comment on the exemplary in architecture, not the C-grade projects.

      • anavic

        I know that design and architecture is important, but I think
        that is more important to live in a place you are happy with
        than the fact that the architect is happy with his little piece of art.
        We project for people, not for ourselves, and when we finish a project it belongs to somebody else, and this person has to be satisfied. BTW, for me, “to be satisfied” is not a C-grade project, that would be a “to be ok with it”

  • anavic

    It’s just that I don’t understand why people has this thing with master bedrooms… if you give them a study inside it, fine, but if they just have a closed, a bed and a bathroom… what’s the point of giving them the best space in the parcel in stead of give it to the day zone of the house and let everyone enjoy it?

  • JustinM

    Theses nothing special about this place at all.

    Placing the living room/ kitchen etc upstairs and having the bathrooms/ bedrooms downstairs is pretty common, especially where the second story has great views.

  • Tali

    I must say I lived in a house where the bedrooms had direct access to the garden, and it was wonderful. But you do have to consider your priorities:

    A living room with a great view or a living room with direct access to the garden (a potentially good space for more people to enjoy). A Master Bedroom with a good view (in the theoretically best spot of the house) or a bedroom with access to the garden?

  • haze

    for me ,seems i looked this before