Location: Medina, WA
Size: 4,988.43 SF + 369.37 SF Decks
Cost: $331.00 /SF
Photography: Benjamin Benschneider
/ The Seattle Times
Tim James Rhodes + Josh Meharry
/ Rhodes Architecture + Light
We worked closely with our clients to create a light-filled “tree house” on two levels entering from an existing drive, gardens, and walks privately nestled below the accessing street.
This was to be, from the beginning, a multi-generation house. The design had to create equal and separate family spaces for six family members. The owners wanted equal, egalitarian spaces to encourage peaceful cohabitation among generations.
The Seattle Times, June 17, 2016: “The whole home is highly, deliberately integrated with nature, with tons of windows, wood, natural materials and colors, and light. Nearly every room has a door to an outside deck, and in the living area, an accordion glass wall opens to a huge deck that interconnects with the living spaces.”
The form of the house is driven by the roofs; the “butterfly” or shed roof forms open to sky-views even as they protect. The enveloping quilt of opaque and open walls and glass and the house plan itself were deliberately developed to allow each space variability in three characteristics relating to the scale of the space: the ceiling height, the degree of natural light, and the degree of openness. More intimate spaces (dining, for example) are placed under lower portions of roofs, are more central and are less exposed to exterior light, while higher roofs lend openness, connectedness, volume, and cascading light to larger, more public, spaces. The gradually sloping shed roofs gain height as they reach exterior walls, views, and daylight, allowing more light to flow inside over wood-paneled ceilings. Warm ceiling materials continue in exterior roof soffits, enticing the eye upward and out to bright views of trees and sky. The open walls, wood vertical lattice screens, and ceiling plane transitions were created to delineate horizontal spaces while retaining a flow of space and connectivity from space to space and to the more “public” core of the house.