The sites shaped these buildings. Footprints are small to keep site excavation and foundation costs low. Rammed earth retaining walls create stability and yield access through the site ravine, complete with a natural creek and dense tree coverage.
To create the area required for four separate dwelling units, the buildings are maximum three stories tall. The central stairway doubles as both a light well and a play space below.
At only 20' wide, the south-facing buildings allow passive and active solar strategies to achieve the goal of net-zero energy usage.
The 4' on-center Tight Frame forms a cadence of space and light, with large venting picture glazing framing connections between interior and exterior. View-facing decks terrace up the site on top of circulation spaces.
Inside, the top floors opens up to the surrounding tree canopy and views beyond to Lake Washington, with glimpses of Mt. Baker.
Rammed earth retaining walls enhance the feeling of natural groundedness in this nature-rich site. As a material, rammed earth is locally sourced, renewable, and durable.
An attached ADU and a detached ADU help to increase lot density within Zoning allowances. The Environmentally Critical Area restrictions yielded very specific access opportunities and building locations.
Climate Zone: 4C
Winter Design Temperature: 24° F
Ground Snow Load: 25 psf
Wind Design Speed: 85 mph
Seismic Design Category: D2
Frost Depth: 12"
Termite Hazard: None to Slight