In the deep of Washington State’s Cascade Mountains a beautiful vacation home sits on the well known Suncadia Resort – the work of Coates Design Architects . The house oozes architectural prowess but even more, it merges with nature to not disrupt but be a part of it. The home is a great addition to a community that enjoys some of the very best of mother nature including a Tom Doak golf course within the 2,600 acre of magnificent natural appeal.
The house does a lot to stay within acceptable non-reproachable limits by mother nature. With the use of reclaimed rustic materials, it lays subtly on the vast landscape as if it intends to sit back leaving the landscape take charge. The architects went for a sustainable design with a very modern feel. The owners of the home intending to have this as a legacy for their extended family, allowed the architects to go above and beyond the call to create a modern home with what you would call an overbearing roof reflecting the visual power of wood synonymous with its location.
The site experiences extreme weather conditions which played as a challenge to the team at Coates Design. The architects were weary of using traditional artificial cooling systems. There was need for a sustainable approach in line with green building strategies. To create passive solar strategies, and for a location that gets a lot of sun throughout the year, the architects designed a sprawling sloping roof to enable placement of solar panels that would generate 10kWh of electricity.
Using Tesla Powerwall engineering, this system supplies the home with all the electricity it needs to run. The Powerwall also stores electricity and even provide more power needed to charge the owners electric cars in a power station.
The home interiors feature high end wood materials from the window frames to the floors, seats, walls and ceilings. The main living areas are awash with day light as windows and glass line the walls in incredible fashion. It is an attempt to merge the indoors to the outside. When you are inside this home looking outside, except for the occasional sighting of the walls and wooden window frames, it must feel like you are inside but as an extension of the outside. The extensive glass transfers you out into the landscape enabling you to frame the breathtaking views yonder.
The challenge with floor to ceiling windows that are large opening out into the immersive summer sun is there can be too much heat absorbed into the home as a result of direct sunlight. To cater for that, a dramatic roof cantilevers almost on every elevation of the house thereby protecting the windows from direct sunlight and allowing more than enough light to make its way into the house. In addition, the cantilevered roof creates lots of outdoor porches that are covered for sheltering outside with views into the landscape.
The vaulted ceilings across the house supported by exposed steel and wood structural elements give the home a unique look. The repetitive nature of the elements add into the rhythm and pattern that is very evident in the architecture. The concrete chimney left to stay true to the rustic nature of concrete creates a focal point inside the main living area.
This solid mass, along with areas of concrete floor, serve also as a thermal heat sink to help maintain a stable and comfortable temperature inside. There are two primary bedroom suites and a bunk room in the main house to accommodate family members. A separate bunk house has space for recreation and an additional bedroom suite. The two-car garage features an electric vehicle charging station, a wine cellar, and plenty of storage.
Architect’s thoughts and statement: “When striving for optimal energy efficiency in home design, the sweet spot is being able to combine efficient appliances and mechanical systems with a tight building envelope, and supply it all with clean energy, such as wind or solar. Getting that combination right ensures a home lives well into the future—like this cabin, which is intended not just for now, but also for the generations to come down the road.” Coates Design President and Principle Architect, Matthew Coates
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Architects: Coates Design
Location: Cle Elum, Washington, United States
Year Completed: 2016
Structural Engineers: Quantum Structural Engineers
Landscape Architect: Leuner Landscape Design
Contractor: Brock Smith Custom Homes