Text description provided by the architects. Perched above Lake Washington, this new house offers a series of dynamic spaces and a focus in sustainable building techniques.
The lot was originally occupied by a garage which had been converted into a small living space. In an effort to increase the density of the neighborhood, with the cooperation of the city of Renton, the clients were allowed to replace this converted garage with an architecturally significant new home.
The clients are avid bicyclists, so the lower level of the building features a separate entrance and ample area for bike storage and repair. The upper two levels are loft like and open, with large sliding glass doors opening up to the lake. An exposed steel moment frame, located in the stairway, braces the home’s metal and glass to its concrete components. Wood siding lines an insertedporch at the south-east corner, adding warmth and texture to the home’s exterior.
The house was designed to provide private spaces that also take advantage of the brilliant views of Lake Washington. To provide privacy from the neighbors, the south and east walls, made of concrete and corrugated metal siding, fold to provide an enclosure with limited openings. To accommodate the expansive Lake Washington view, the west and north walls are made of a slender steel frame which supports a façade made entirely of glass. Because of the home’s tiny lot, its yard was conceived as a series of patios cascading from the ground floor to the garage level with a large habitable landing in-between. This series of spaces links the otherwise tall house to its small yard.
Situated on a tiny lot with public space on three sides, the house prominently displays an extensive variety of green features. A butterfly roof is sculpted to drain to a single point, where rainwater is collected in cisterns located on the north side of the building. Spanning the west elevation is an aluminum storefront façade, pressure-balanced to prevent water infiltration from powerful winds generated over the lake. In addition, outdoor mechanical roller shades control western exposure, minimizing solar heat gain. The house’s south elevation is built with super-efficient insulated concrete formwork, which gives the building thermal mass. In addition, a green wall, watered from the home’s rainwater collection, is planned to grow on the entire south facade. The home’s roof is covered with a white roof membrane that reduces heat gain in the summer. In addition, the roof is home to photovoltaic and hot water heating panels which add to the building’s energy efficiency.
To answer to the design concepts of the owner and project team, emphasis was given to collaborating with local craftsmen and manufacturers. Such items as high performance window systems, sun screens, energy products, and advanced building materials were typically all sourced locally.