Many people design homes to be surrounded by nature, but Seattle-based PRDG Architects decided to take it a step further by building a modern home around a family’s beloved madrone tree. Located in a woody lot outside of Seattle, the ultra energy-efficient Farwell is a two story structure made from weathered steel. Plenty of windows and natural light blend the family home into its natural environment, but it’s the sculptural tree that is spotlighted by the design.
Surrounded by trees and greenery, the 3,800-square-foot home was designed to be a serene oasis where the family can reconnect with nature. Using the madrone tree as a focal point, the architects strategically designed the home to both preserve the tree and make it visible from nearly every room. An expansive deck wraps around the house, further providing a constant connection with the tree and the surrounding environment.
In addition to saving the tree, the architects set out to build a home with minimal impact on the landscape. All of the trees on site were preserved and maintained without harm, and the existing green space was left in its natural state. To add resilience to the landscape around the home, the team installed a bioretention garden with a cistern that collects rainwater and controls stormwater run-off.
Beyond the reverence for the landscape, the design for the Farwell home also focused on energy conservation. The building has a high-tech, energy-efficient building envelope and generates its own power thanks to the solar roof tiles. Additionally, the home was installed with smart appliances and LED lighting fixtures.
The stunning design is not only efficient, but boasts a modern, light-filled interior with a fresh aesthetic. An abundance of sliding glass doors and large windows open up the space — in fact, extra-large square windows were installed throughout the home to frame the madrone tree as if it were a piece of artwork.
Photography by Lara Swimmer via PRDG Architects