The Roundy Residence is situated on a 100-ft high bluff that drops to the waters edge on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands. Strong winds come up off the bluff and buffet landscape, but the home calmly stands in the face of it, taking in the views of the water and the hills. Designed by Miller Hull Partnership, the Roundy Residence is a stunning T-shaped construction that relies on an innovative solar passive design and solar hot water heating.
Ten acres of gently rolling hills abruptly end in a high bluff down to the water, and this stark change in the landscape is what inspired the architecture of the home. Strong winds swoop up from the bluff and can make the landscape harsh, but Miller Hull counterbalances this by using the home as a wind break. Positioning the home parallel with the bluff, the public living spaces, entry porch and the garage take the wind front on, but also take advantage of the views.
The private section of the home juts out perpendicular to the public space and is fully protected against the wind. Oriented to the east and west, the private rooms take advantage of solar passive design, with private doors that open onto a south-facing porch with continuous glazing. This porch takes advantage of the sun in the winter months and is shaded during the summer months. The T-shape of the house creates two protected zones on either side of the living quarters, and the one out in front of the bedrooms serves as a private garden. In the center of the home, a two story tower is used as a private studio and office space. On top is a solar hot water system that powers the hydronic heating systems inside.
Images ©Benjamin Benschneider