Seattle's densely-populated Capitol Hill neighborhood has a new addition to its largely modern residences; this 2,965 square-foot residence designed by locally-based Balance Associates Architects. The site—which is located on a steep hill—provides dramatic views for the home's residents, but presented certain constraints for the architecture and engineering team who worked to capitalize on the location while creating an elegant and environmentally-sensitive home. Constructed over a cantilevered base to provide 180 degree views of the landscape, the home also features an array of energy-efficient and sustainable systems.
In order to stay within the permitted footprint of the previous house on this steep site in Capitol Hill, Balance Associates, Charter Construction and their design team cantilevered three sides of this home off of the concrete base, providing for 180 degree views of the eastern mountains and neighboring lakes. The building is designed with a translucent slot in the center of the home which filters the sunlight deep within the home.
Besides the passive daylighting designs incorporated throughout the home and rainwater collection, the building includes many active sustainable systems. Hidden on the roof is a 30 panel photovoltaic system which feeds back to the grid. Also, a buried geothermal well and heat pumps provide aid for both the heating and cooling system. External solar shades, high levels of insulation, and low-e glazing also help to reduce energy consumption.
Ultimately, The Capitol Hill Residence is a three-story modern home, which has taken advantage of a difficult site in order to provide a wonderful three-bedroom home meeting the client’s desires. Balance Associates designs “for sustainability and energy efficiency, balancing (the clients’) desire for environmentally responsible building with the desire for an architecturally sophisticated home”. This residence is a great blend of form and function.