Helen Street House

Situated around a central courtyard, the Helen Street House is a small piece of nature in the middle of downtown Seattle. At the heart of the urban dwelling is a heavily landscaped patio. The U-shaped design allows for the garden to be the focal point no matter where you are in the home. Sliding glass doors in the main living area open the interior to the outdoors, while also flooding the interior with natural light and affording views of the landscape. Although naturally weathered cedar planks and reclaimed timbers add a rustic element to the exterior facade, the contemporary form complements the city setting.

Photos: Andrew Pogue / MW Works Architecture

  • Shore House

    Connecticut is a rare place where the forest runs right into the sea. The Shore House is situated right in the middle to take advantage of both. A sunken stairway leads to the entryway of the home, also providing privacy for the glazed ground level. These glass panels flood the interior with natural light while also affording views of the neighboring bay. A charred cedar structure sits cantilevered on a concrete hearth, creating an elevated second story to house the bedrooms and providing a covered terrace below. Fitted with sliding doors, these intimate spaces open out to an elevated deck allowing for a prime space to gaze at the horizon beyond.

    Photos: Scott Frances / Leroy Street Studio

  • Courtyard House on a River

    Just outside of Seattle on the edge of the White River, the Courtyard House on a River sits in a grove of evergreens. The dark facade, created by planks of blackened Western red cedar, blends the contemporary form into its forest setting. A courtyard made from a bed of gravel leads to a covered terrace, acting as both a passage from the outdoors as well as a refuge from the wandering elk. The terrace is separated from the interior living area by a double-sided steel fireplace. Once inside, white walls and wood beams contrast the exterior and develop a warm, modern palette. Along with welcoming in generous amounts of natural light, walls of glazing allow for extensive views of the surrounding forest bed.

    Photos: Mark Woods / Robert Hutchison Architecture

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