LocationSeattle, United States
Architect in ChargeMichael La Fon, RA, NCARB
Structural EngineerHarriott Valentine Engineers
Landscape DesignShapiro Ryan Design
Site Area4,000 SF
Text description provided by the architects. Madison Park Residence is a single family residence designed as a gathering place for a family spread out along the west coast, as well as a repository for their shared history.
Following the sudden loss of her husband, my client relocated from the Midwest to Seattle to be closer to her children. She envisioned the house as an anchor, establishing a new center for the family, and a place where she could pursue her writing. The open plan of the main floor functions as a hall, permitting the entire extended family to congregate, socialize, and dine together. The kitchen is designed to be functional yet porous, integrating it with the living and dining areas. The master suite above, cantilevered from the corner of the house, doubles as a writing retreat.
The main problem this project addresses is reconciling the requirement for such a large room in a house on a typical Seattle residential lot, and doing so in an elegant manner. The house is sited along the south edge of the lot, maximizing landscaping and maintaining a comfortable pedestrian streetscape. Private outdoor area is reserved for the back yard along the alley. In order to maximize congregation space on the main floor, all other functions are compressed along the south edge of the house. A custom bookshelf was designed to house the family book collection. A long gallery wall upstairs displays a photo collection of family and ancestors.
The siding is a panelized concrete product, selected for its durability and ultra-low maintenance. The layout and sizing of the panels minimizes material waste: panels align with the edges of glazing and exterior doors, avoiding ‘L’-shapes, while panel widths derive from repeatable fractions of the overall sheet width. Recycled, reclaimed, non-toxic and locally-sourced products were used wherever possible.
Several residents in the area walk the neighborhood daily. The project preserves an old, beloved neighborhood Japanese maple tree on the corner, an exceptionally large cedar tree near the alley, and provides more landscaping area along the north street, with trees for shade in the summer months.