The Olympia Residence in Yelm, WA earns the nickname “modern home on the prairie” with its country house-like charms and innovative technical systems. Designed by Coates Design Architecture, the 2,200-square-foot home makes the most of its modest budget with an elegant design that blends natural elements with modern architecture. In keeping with the design studio’s motto of “responsible architecture,” the environmentally sensitive Olympia Residence was built with radiant floor heating, passive ventilation, and natural materials.
The clients, Eric and Melinda, sought a simple yet contemporary home that emphasized a connection with nature. Unlike the farmhouse aesthetic common in Yelm, the custom-designed Olympia Residence is topped with flat roof and is clad in generous amounts of glass, wood and stucco siding, and metal panel accents. An acid-washed concrete masonry unit wall was erected in front of the glass-faced living area to provide privacy and enclose an intimate courtyard.
A contemporary open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area form the heart of the Olympia Residence. The birch-clad space is enclosed on the North and South sides with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to overlook the foothills and wetlands on the 10-acre property. In addition to these sweeping landscape views, the home’s connection to the outdoors is strengthened through the use of natural birch and cedar that allude to the wooded environment and the interior soycrete-stained concrete flooring that extends to the outdoor patio. The energy-efficient home uses natural ventilation, heat on-demand, as well as CFL and LED lighting fixtures.
Images via Coates Design Architecture