On a narrow urban lot in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, MW Works Architecture combined modern design with smart, sustainable planning to create a 4,090-square-foot home. The Push_Pull Residence, creatively named for the spatial qualities created in this project, is a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home that stretches 120 feet within a 30 foot wide lot. For its creative and sustainable response to this difficult site, MW Works Architecture received an award last year from AIA Seattle.
As MW Works pushed and pulled the spaces of the residence within the site, the building began to form natural courtyards that gave the family privacy and natural light. The long face of the home opens up to natural light due to a three foot setback from the property line. The ends of the home provide landscaped spaces designed by Wittman Estes, which are easily pulled into the home through wonderful storefront windows. The designers, along with contractors Hummelbrunner Construction, also blurred the transition of the outdoor and indoor spaces by continuing a lot of the exterior materials into the home (or visa versa).
Materiality through the home was also very important, not only because of the quality of space created through the use of rich, natural materials, but also for sustainability. During the demolition of the previous home that sat on this site, the design and construction team salvaged the douglas fir framing and milled it into siding. The reuse of this material preserved the history of the previous home, while keeping embodied energy low during construction. The concrete floors were also designed with radiant heat in order to hold and radiate heat during the cold Seattle days and nights. The rest of the exterior materiality included clear red cedar siding with a dark stain and painted fiber cement boards. The window adjacent to the stairs is also made from Polygal polycarbonate panels, which create a frosted glazing effect so that light is let in while maintaining privacy.
The home is a great example of cost effective design with added green benefits. The home is also designed to integrate a solar hot water system, photovoltaics, and a green roof system onto the roof. These items, along with creative detailing, provide the owners of the Push_Pull Residence with sustainable choices to keep their future bright and clean.
Photos by Tim Bies Photography