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The Hidden Cove House Melds Japanese Tradition with Pacific Northwest Sensibility

Capturing the essence of traditional Japanese buildings without mimicry, Stuart Silk reinterprets cultural principles with a Pacific Northwest sensibility.

Mar 13, 2020 | By Julia Roxan

A collection of one-story pavilions, centered by a garden, rests along Lake Washington in Washington Park. Offering picturesque views of the water and the neighboring Cascade Mountains, the sanctuary-like residence exudes serenity and natural beauty.

The Hidden Cove House Melds Japanese Tradition with Pacific Northwest Sensibility

Conceptualized by Seattle-based architectural and interior design firm, Stuart Silk, for a client seeking tranquility, and easy access to water, with ample space to showcase their unique collection of greenery, which they have lovingly cared for and painstakingly pruned consistent with the ancient traditions of Japanese landscaping.

Through orientating the main pavilion in an east to west direction, the designers hoped to maximize the passage of light in every inch of the residence, weaving intricate details and narratives into each design element.

Eliminating the inconvenience of steps, the Hidden Cove residence was built on a single plane, with its garden divided into two principal rooms connected by a water course, spanning from the street down to the lake – interlinked at every turn, each pavilion is overlapped by walkways, presenting a complex relationship between the perceived indoor and outdoor spaces.

Representing a multitude of living spaces, each pavilion is utilized for a separate function, featuring bedrooms, communal areas, an art studio, and garage – characterized by a uniform traditional Japanese low-angled hip roof, clad in zinc shingles for an ancient aesthetic that will continue to patina over time into a lustrous grey tone.

Capturing the essence of traditional Japanese buildings without mimicry, Stuart Silk strove to reinterpret cultural principles with a Pacific Northwest sensibility, thus creating a home that is restrained, light-filled, and intimate – fitted with ultra-thin steel posts and a continuous band of clerestory windows which brighten interiors whilst shielding inhabitants from heat through overhanging eves for unobstructed views, an overall weightless quality and a soft warm glow.

Incorporating several tactile details such as oversized oak doors with a cerused finish and a six-inch wide textured vertical steel panels on the strike side, the house is quiet even with lots of people – thanks to the sound-absorbent ceiling clad in cedar planks and discreet sound insulation cavities.


 
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