Location: Olympia, WA
Size: 4507 SF
Cost: Withheld at Owner's Request
Photography: Conor Musgrave
"We are loving living in our new house."
Rhodes Architecture + Light received this message in the fall of 2015 after three years of collaboration with a couple who wanted to live peacefully on private land north of Olympia, Washington.
A careful study of the land, the topography, the layout of large existing Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees, and especially the eastern views was critical to understanding the siting of the house as well as the creation of view corridors through and from the house.
The house was designed around three courts: an interior trellised entry garden court and a hidden drive/parking court. The guesthouse and a gym were purposely broken off the main house and set separately into the woods with a small court between; the void resulting from this separation allows the tempting view of mountains and Puget Sound during the curving approach.
Maximum surface area and the critical views from living, kitchen, eating, and sleeping areas were turned east toward the water. The house was planned to be low and unobtrusive; a place from which to experience the land and natural environment, not a statement about the sophistication of the architecture. A series of roof forms were studied in three dimensions. The final massing, interior light, and ceiling heights in the Johnson Point Residence lend the smaller, more private spaces (dining for example) intimacy and inward focus while opening larger more public spaces east to light and views of the water and the sky.
The materials used for the exterior of the Johnson Point house (fiber cement, cedar, standing seam metal roofing, concrete, and low rock and landscaping) reflect the simple, rural environment and strong desire on the client’s part to minimize maintenance and to fit into their neighborhood. Interior materials, including light wood and tile floors and wood cabinetry, darker wood accent cabinets and furnishings, and simple, clean and contemporary surfaces and colors were selected with the owner and their interior designer to accent light, open space, and the linear nature of the house and the landscape it celebrates.